Having never read any Mike Gayle novels before, I was unsure what to expect when I started Seeing Other People*. But after hearing so many good things about his work, I was looking forward to giving it a go.
Seeing Other People is written from the perspective of Joe Clark, a journalist and one-time novelist who seems to have the perfect life. A loving wife, two beautiful children and a high powered job at a newspaper.
This is until one night he wakes up in bed with the sexy new intern. But the thing is, Joe can’t remember a single thing from the night before and has no idea how he’s ended up in a 25-year-old’s apartment.
His wife Penny finds out and in one fell swoop, Joe’s family crumbles before his eyes. To make matters worse, when he is at his lowest, he’s greeted by an unexpected visitor: the ghost of his least favourite ex-girlfriend who helps him figure it all out, while she makes snidey and sarcastic comments along the way.
Seeing Other People has a elements of A Christmas Carol and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and because of this Joe’s dead ex-girlfriend who keeps cropping isn’t actually as silly as it first sounds.
When I first read the blurb, I wrongly assumed that it would be written as a chick-lit style book but from the point of view of a man. The premise, though a simple one, was drawn out brilliantly. As a reader we see Joe’s personal growth and also the heartbreaking destruction of his family.
I really enjoyed reading about all of the different characters who were each brilliant in their own right. While going through such a terrible time, Joe’s new group of friends The Divorced Dad’s Club help him through it and offer the reader both humour and depth. I’ll definitely miss reading about this great bunch!
The best thing about this book is seeing Joe’s development from a content but bored husband to a fiercely determined man trying desperately to make things right.
An easy read with hidden depths. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more Mike Gayle books.
*Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy to review