James de Witt and Danny Allen should be kings of the world. Instead, they are vanquished by life.
Although they came from different backgrounds, both excelled at a school that breeds statesmen, champions of industry, thought-leaders. Years later, we meet the two men in their thirties; James survived a violent attack that left him with a brain injury, and Danny is determined to self-destruct after a mysterious incident that killed his sister.
In a last-ditch attempt to sort himself out, Danny accepts a job as a carer for James. A touching friendship of equals emerges between the two men as they help one another. Their loyalty is the strongest element in this feel-good story - and their easy humour means we are never in the doldrums even when James and Danny are at their lowest ebb.
The narrative pace slows in the final part - the magic lost when our charming pair separate to face their own challenges - and there are moments when the underlying structure shows too much on the surface (I didn't need James to keep telling me that by saving Danny he will save himself, and vice versa). But overall the distinctive voices of Mike Gayle's sympathetic characters leap off the page, and this is a sensitive and uplifting read that will appeal to fans of JoJoMoyes.