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*An Evening Standard Must Read for 2021*
‘A wonderful book, both tender and wise’ Okechukwu Nzelu
‘Immersive and timely… you will root for Charlie and Stan from the first page’ Deepa Anappara

From the acclaimed author of ESCAPE ROUTES, a bittersweet story of coming-of-age in a divided world, in the tradition of TIN MAN or BLACK SWAN GREEN.

It’s a lonely life for Stan, at a new school that feels more ordeal than fresh start, and at home where he and his mother struggle to break the silence after his father’s death. When he encounters fearless, clever Charlie on the local common, all of that begins to change. Charlie’s curiosity is infectious, and it is Charlie who teaches Stan, for the first time, to stand on his own two feet. But will their unit of two be strong enough to endure in a world that offers these boys such different prospects?

The pair part ways, until their paths cross once again, as adults in London. Now Stan is revelling in all that the city has to offer, while Charlie seems to have hit a brick wall. He needs Stan’s help, and above all his friendship, but is Stan really there for the man who once showed him the meaning of loyalty?

(P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Reviews

A heartfelt, moving depiction of growing up in a complex world together. A joy to read
Nick Bradley, author of THE CAT AND THE CITY
An attentive and considered tribute to friendship, reminding us that, for all our human messiness, to have a friend is to enter an enduring pact to face the world together
Ronan Hession, author of LEONARD AND HUNGRY PAUL
Long after finishing, Charlie and Stan refuse to be forgotten. I couldn't put this one down
Molly Aitken, author of THE ISLAND CHILD
Tender but never sentimental, COMMON GROUND is a glorious novel about friendship, prejudice and injustice, which exposes the common threads that bind us together
Gemma Reeves, author of VICTORIA PARK
A generous and disarming tale of loyalty, injustice and hope
New Statesman
Tender and savvy... engrossingly old fashioned
Daily Mail
I loved it. When so many of us are missing friends and feeling isolated, this novel feels like balm on a wound
Megan Bradbury, author of EVERYONE IS WATCHING
A timely and bittersweet novel, full of hope
Helen Cullen, author of THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF
A bittersweet perspective on the importance of friendship across cultural lines and a magnified glimpse into some of Britain's most glaring social issues
Bad Form
Immersive... here is a writer whose imagination is propelled by compassion, but who underpins her fiction with steely realism
Herald
I adored this book. Quietly stole my heart, and the ending was breathtaking., It left me with so much to think about. A beautiful novel
Ericka Waller, author of DOG DAYS
Her writing is so brilliant
Evening Standard
Captured our imagination from the outset... thought-provoking, and beautifully observed
Independent
A heartwarming tale of a passionate and beautiful friendship
TLS