Author(s): Andrew O'Hagan
An unforgettable coming-of-age novel that becomes a profound meditation on life, death, and lifelong friendship.
Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life. In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit.
With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain.
There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently. Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news - news that forces the life-long friends to confront their own mortality head-on.
What follows is an incredibly moving examination of the responsibilities and obligations we have to those we love. Mayflies is at once a finely-tuned drama about the delicacy and impermanence of human connection and an urgent inquiry into some of the most important questions of all: Who are we? What do we owe to our friends? And what does it mean to love another person amidst tragedy?
MATILDA BOOKSHOP REVIEW
Like the best novels, Mayflies speaks to a far deeper truth within the framework of a deceptively simple story. James and Tully are Scottish malcontents and best friends, brought together by music, books and a hunger for life and experiences beyond the narrow streets. These heady days set the scene for a lifelong friendship that is disrupted only by Tully's illness. Throughout, O'Hagan's writing is almost perfect. At first the tone is joyous and uncontained, before moving an elegiac stateliness as the two friends confront the unthinkable together. I can't recommend this life-affirming, heartrending book about friendship, male or otherwise, enough. Gavin