Today is my stop on the blog tour for Gap Years.
19 year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really explained why. An argument with her leads to his moving to the other side of the country.
Martin, his father, has his life thrown into turmoil when the son he hasn’t seen in nearly eight years strolls back into his life immediately killing his dog and hospitalising his step-daughter.
The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.
Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.
Martin, meanwhile, struggles to reconnect with Sean while trying to delicately turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.
Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century seen from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about bicycles, guitars and unrequited love.
Gap Years is my second read from Dave Holwill and, as expected, a sharp, satirical novel full of very human experiences with false expectations.
Dave Holwill crafts real, relatable characters, with a bit of dark comedy. This is a story of a father and son, who grow and learn a lot about themselves and each other. It’s not always good news, but they manage to deal, which creates a very moving tale.
A dysfunctional family with beautiful writing and dark comedy, this is a quirky novel that I highly recommend giving a shot. Even if it’s not your style normally, I think Dave Holwill’s writing will draw you in and the characters will see you through to the end.
Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.
Let me know what you think!