Happy Wednesday everyone! Today, I’m delighted to be closing the blog tour for Zena Barrie’s debut Your Friend Forever.
My thanks to the lovely Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on the blog tour and for my e-copy of Your Friend Forever. I also bought a kindle copy – it’s currently at a bargain price!
Preston, 1981. Maud, who is twelve and lives with her dysfunctional parents and her elder brother, spends a lot of her time in her bedroom writing letters to her favourite popstar, Tom Harding, the lead singer of a punk band called Horsefly.
No one really understands her or tries to – and she thinks Tom just might have some answers to her many, many questions…
What Did I Think?
Meet Maud, a 12 year old obsessed with Tom Harding (not to be confused with Tom Hardy), lead singer of punk rock band Horsefly. I remember being that age and obsessed with a celebrity. Think for me, it was Bono but I didn’t go to the extent Maud did.
I loved the inane chit chat Maud thinks her dreamy pop star wants to hear. Well maybe not what she thinks he wants to hear; more her outlet for sharing, given her problems at home. There are little hints from Maud’s letter that her home life is troubled in many ways. Being set in the early 80s is a very different world to that of a modern young teenager. And not just at home, the distinct difference in social interaction and etiquette.
But this is a book of two halves. First half is Maud aged 12/13. The second is 30 years later. Life is very different for Maud aged 42 but a chance encounter reopens her outlet for sharing with Tom.
I was fascinated throughout to see whether Tom ever replied to Maud. I tried to imagine what he must be thinking as he read each communication from Maud – I decided in my head he did read them all. Why wouldn’t you?!
Having the story told in a letter format, similar to diary entries but different was interesting. Throw in the sporadic interviews and articles from the music press made for a very different read. Barrie has composed a different sort of novel, not something I’d typically read but I enjoyed getting to know Maud. I wanted to give this young teenager a hug and tell her everything would be ok.
Who Is Zena Barrie?
Zena Barrie lives in Manchester and runs the Greater Manchester Fringe and the Camden Fringe. She ran the Kings Arms pub and Theatre in Salford for a while and also the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, as well as working in a wide variety of roles at the Edinburgh Fringe (from street performer to venue manager). In the 90s she did a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts specialising in playwriting. Up until recently she has been co-hosting the award winning spoken word night Verbose. She is also one half of performance art duo The Sweet Clowns. Your Friend Forever is her first novel.