Turn­ing Forty

by Mike Gayle (Hod­der & Stoughton) at www.ama­zon. com

Friday - - Music and Books -

Mike Gayle has spent 15 years cre­at­ing, then cor­ner­ing, the male ver­sion of the chick-lit mar­ket.

Turn­ing Forty, a fol­low-up to – what else? – Turn­ing Thirty, doesn’t stray from his tested themes of new-manly angst and re­la­tion­ship tribu­la­tions, as health prob­lems and a fad­ing mar­riage see Matt Beck­ford face 40 broke and alone. He had a Porsche in the garage and a jet-set Lon­don job that re­quired him to spend more time in Bri­tish Air­ways’ club lounge than his own lounge, be­fore he was forced away from the lux­u­ri­ous life and moved back to his par­ents’ Birm­ing­ham home. As his for­ti­eth draws ever closer, he be­friends his hero, en­dures a se­ries of ro­man­tic en­tan­gle­ments, and gen­er­ally ques­tions the logic of the usual 2.4 chil­dren ap­proach to age­ing. How­ever, all is not lost be­cause Matt has a plan...

Gayle’s warmth and hu­mour shine through from cover to cover in a cast of like­able and en­tirely be­liev­able char­ac­ters. Matt’s re­la­tion­ship with his par­ents is par­tic­u­larly well drawn. Their own per­sonal cross­roads place his in fo­cus and high­light, as Gayle of­ten does, the im­por­tance of en­dur­ing fam­ily love.

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