This is the debut novel of Philip Collins and is set “up North” in the small town of Brandlesholme, near Bury and involves two young lads who grow up on the Harwood council estate.
Kevin and Adam were always best mates – blood brothers in fact. Kevin was always the leader of the pack at school and was always the dominant one, while Adam, bookish and sensitive, rode on the coat tails of his friend. They shared football and fighting and secret dens and their friendship survives throughout the period of their lives described in this book.
Kevin becomes a professional footballer, playing for his local team at first but is then picked to play for Bury but suffers a drastic injury to his knee which ruins his career as a professional footballer. Adam meanwhile has made it to Bury Grammar school and then goes on to Cambridge University where he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Elizabeth. They come from different upbringings and it seems as if their relationship is doomed from the start.
Kevin meanwhile is despondent, out of a job, with no prospects and sinks into a life of crime, booze and drugs and finishes up in prison.
How their lives evolve from these beginnings is the subject of this book. As it says on the cover, this is a story of life, love and loss, touching and funny, it is the story of a new generation.
An endearing story that I can recommend.