- Title: Being Simon Haines
- Author: Tom MacAulay
- Published: 2017
- Date Started: 30th April 2017
- Date Finished: 18th May 2017
Being Simon Haines is a difficult book to categorise. It tells the tale of Simon Haines, an ambitious lawyer chasing his dream: partnership at the legendary, family-run law firm of Fiennes & Plunkett. Simon is awaiting the results of a potential partnership with Fiennes & Plunkett, and decides to travel to Cuba to pass the time in an attempt to rediscover youthful enthusiasm and gather a clear mind before news that might change his life forever.
Although not being able to pinpoint the genre of the book, I quite enjoyed Being Simon Haines.
It was well written, which made it incredibly easy to follow the two storylines presented – Simon’s current life in London, and his past life as a young adult.
I liked the flashback sequences most because, as a student myself, the first-person narrative perspective of a young adult was easier to understand than the first-person perspective of a city lawyer.*
* I also loved the mentions of the University of Nottingham – my very own university!
I struggled with the occasional legalistic jargon, but I don’t think this particularly hindered the book. They say to write about what you know; MacAulay is a solicitor from North London, so it is unsurprising that these things should feature in Being Simon Haines.
I liked MacAulay’s development of characters too – Plunkett is a ridiculous boss with meticulous standards who only communicates in whispers, Giles is a bumbling assistant who only ever seems to make mistakes, and Dan is a laddish best friend with many attractive qualities. The only puzzle seems to be: who is Simon Haines?
I noticed my perception of Simon change throughout the book, as more information was drip-fed – at certain points I felt supportive of him, and at others I felt downright aversion towards him. Whether this was intended or not, I thought it cleverly challenged the notion that comes with a lot of books which is “they’re the main character therefore I have to like them”.
Overall, I don’t think Being Simon Haines is a book I’d have normally have chosen – it’s not a horror, dystopian, or a thriller. However, what it is is an interesting exploration of a man with a dream, and the consequences that come with pursuing ambitions – no matter what the cost.
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars
Being Simon Haines will be available to buy as a paperback on Amazon UK from June 2017.
Thank you for reading my review!
This blog post is part of the “blog tour” running by Red Door Publishing, who very kindly sent me a proof copy of Being Simon Haines to read and review for free!
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