Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan – Our Review
‘They say you know nothing at eighteen. But there are things you know at eighteen that you will never know again.’
My new favourite read; this Scottish coming-of-age story will bring you joy.
Opening in the summer of 1986, we meet two inseparable friends who are high on life and all its possibilities.
Narrated by the younger, quieter James – who announces in the opening chapter that he has just divorced his bland parents, both lads are desperate not to repeat their parent’s mistakes or omissions in judgement due to apathy or fear. Tully, the more worldly of the two, encourages them both to dream big.
They embark on the weekend of their lives at the wild Festival of the Tenth Summer, in Manchester.
Little do they realise this chaotic, unruly music-filled weekend will be the pivotal point in their friendship and life to come.
Some thirty years later in 2017, James and Tully are still close, but a devastating blow rocks their world. With a heavy heart, James agrees to carry out one last favour for his closest friend.
Full of film and book references, as well as bucketloads of Scottish humour, Mayflies is a beautiful bitter-sweet tale of best of friends whom on the cusp of manhood road-test the humans they’d like to be. Simply wonderful.
Review by Nicole