The Girl Who Lived By the River (Part One) by Mark Daydy

And now for something a little different…

This book isn’t strictly speaking a romantic novel, although there is romance in it, in an Adrian Mole loves Pandora Braithwaite sort of way. It’s about a teenage boy, his friends, his family, and growing up in the seventies. And I loved it.

It’s 1975, and Tom Alder is fast approaching his sixteenth birthday. Like most boys of his age, Tom is obsessed with music and girls. He is a huge fan of Genesis, and progressive rock, and has a massive crush on the rather posh sounding Megan, who has practised hard to achieve her plummy accent. But what if he could use his love of music to help him get the girl?
And so Tom comes up with a bright idea. He will form a band, and Megan will be so impressed, she’ll fall for him and help him achieve his current ambition – to lose his virginity before he turns sixteen. There’s just one small problem. He can’t play an instrument, doesn’t sing, and has more or less informed Megan that his band already exists. When his so-called school mates get hold of the tape he’s made of his “band”‘s first efforts, it becomes painfully clear to Tom that his grand plan isn’t going to be so easy to carry out after all.
This is a fabulously funny story, which really gets into the mindset of a teenage boy in 1975. Tom’s hormones are all over the place, and his confusion over Megan, musically gifted Claire, and physically appealing Cheryl, is clear to see. The setting is unfamiliar to me, but is so vividly described that it’s easy to picture.
As a child of the seventies, I found the period details familiar and heartwarming. The descriptions of the clothes, the food and drink, and, especially, the music, evoked fabulous memories.
There was also an intriguing thread running through the story concerning Tom’s family. There is obviously some secret there that has yet to be revealed, which I’m looking forward to. I found the whole plotline about Tom’s “lost brother” quite poignant, and think there is more to come from that quarter.
This book is being published in several parts, so it’s quite short and very easy to read. It made me laugh out loud, and I will definitely buy the next part to find out how Tom’s life progresses. A great little read. 5/5

You can buy The Girl Who Lived By The River (Part One) here .