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A beautiful slice of life

That Summer Feeling by Mark Hodkinson (4559027)
That Summer Feeling by Mark Hodkinson (4559027)

I love reading beautifully written literature. Sometimes even the plot isn't that important to me. If it's crafted lovingly, if the narrative flows and if I genuinely believe in the characters, then there's no place I'd rather be than in the pages of a book. Just the pleasure of reading.

This is the certainly the case with the slice of life paperback that is 'That Summer Feeling'. There's no thrills and spills, no plot twists, no whodunnits, just a superbly written novel about an ordinary 20-something student, played out over a few days and set in the early Noughties.

The story examines the relationships of the young student writer - we are not told his name - with his girlfriend, his 'bit on the side', his best mates, his family (especially his poorly nephew), his college lecturer his fellow students and, indeed, his over-analytical self.

Funny at times, warm and oh-so-true, we see life through this young man's eyes, not satisfied with either love interest, dumping one and being cast aside by the other. We are shown his friends, their strengths, weaknesses and idiosincracies.

We meet his university lecturer Joe, a writer drowning in past successes and the humdrum present, whose life is unravelling. His long, drunken sermons about love and relationships towards the end of this wonderful piece of literature are truly stunning.

And the real love of the young writer's life, his little nephew, wins over our hearts in a few simple pages. We remember how cruel children can be and how precious they are to us. Goodness, there's even a couple of Smiths references for those of us who loved the 80s indie legends.

This is, quite simply, a gorgeous read. 202 pages with not a word wasted.

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