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Imagine

Author: Mark Haysom
Published: 03 December 2015
Reviewed: 03 December 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK  in return for an honest review.

5 out of 5 Stars 

 

The party of the sixties is over and what’s left is the hangover. It’s 1973 – a time of riots, picket lines and unemployment. But it’s also a time when you can imagine the stars. Enter the Bird family…

Baxter – the first Bird to go to university. It’s fresher’s week and a new beginning. Except that his troubled past has followed him right into the lecture hall.

Christie – haunted by what’s gone before and held back by heartbreak. But with her son succeeding against the odds perhaps now it’s her turn to follow her dreams? 

Truman – an absent father and husband for ten years, he now decides he’s owed a second chance. And to help him on his way he’s found a golden key that will open every door. Or so he believes.

The Bird family are a “normal” family in the sense that there’s things they don’t talk about, Truman Bird being one of those things.  So when Christie takes her children and turns up on Nanna Bird’s doorstep, a complete stranger who also happens to be her mother in law, she’s truly desperate for help.  Nanna Bird takes them in, realising what a tangle her son has made for this woman and three children and together they muddle along, never thinking too much about Truman.

When Baxter is offered a place at university Christie is so proud of her little boy, this is his time to shine, he’s survived the struggles of the past 10 years, every penny Christie scrimped and saved to give her kids the best has paid off, that is until Truman decides that his luck has run out and he makes his way back to the not so loving embrace of his family to see what he can scam out of them… things are about to change again for the Bird family.  I don’t want to say much more, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Haysom demonstrates great skill in his writing setting this in the 1970s, you really get a feel for what life was like at that time (yes I know that sounds very clichéd, but hey I was born in the 1980s).  The characters are fantastic, Christie is a superb character, showing great growth and depth as the story progresses, Baxter struggling with the complications of growing up and wanting independence shows is also a great character.  Being able to create Truman as such a despicable character is a sign of good writing, for the author to invent such a character and keep him as awful as Truman makes this a great read.  For the reader, you want to keep reading to see what new lows Truman can sink to, you want to see if he gets his comeuppance.    

Having not realised that there was a book preceding this (Love, Love Me Do (UK Kindle Version)), I can honestly say that this book was a great standalone, I didn’t feel that I was missing any information or enjoyment from this story but I will be making a point of buying a copy of Love, Love Me Do just to find out what happened before and see what I missed.  

This was an incredibly well written book, perceptive, well thought out, and interesting.  The characters were engaging, credible and on the most likeable (expect Truman….ooh I didn’t like him!), there are some genuinely sad moments in this book but there are also some fantastic moments you laugh out loud or smile and nod knowingly, it’s an all round good book! 

I would have no hesitation recommending this book to fans of Contemporary Fiction. 

Many thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 3rd December 2015, a copy can be purchased here Imagine (UK Kindle Version)

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