WellRead December Selection: Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

Mayflies
One of the things I want a WellRead subscription to do is to introduce you to books you might not otherwise have stumbled upon. And not just any old books, but books that offer you deep reading experiences and induce what novelist Paul Auster calls “beautiful stillness”. I have a feeling that our December selection might be that book for many of you.

Described by The Times as a “joyful, warm and heart-filling tribute to the million-petalled flower of male friendship” and by The Telegraph as a “delightful nostalgia trip of enduring friendship”, Mayflies is the sixth novel by Scottish author and London Review of Books Editor-at-Large Andrew O’Hagan.

Told in two parts, the first section opens in Glasgow in the summer of ‘86 and follows two young men as they bond over their love of music, films and the rebel spirit. O’Hagan so compassionately captures the euphoria, frivolity and energy of youth as James and Tully gallivant about, promising each other that they won’t be like their fathers, that they will live a meaningful life. If, while reading this section, you wonder if it’s all getting a little aimless, remember that’s kind of the point. The second half fast-forwards to 2017 when Tully phones James with news. I don’t want to say too much about this section as it will spoil the experience, but know that it progresses the novel into a thing of beauty and substance that ultimately examines how a friendship can shape a life.

Mayfiles is tender and funny, heartbreaking and life-affirming, witty and wise. I hope you love it like I did and that it offers you some of that beautiful stillness.
 
Laura & The Team

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