Knowing Me Knowing You, by Brian Finnegan
Knowing Me Knowing You
Hachette Books Ireland
In the summer of 1983 four teenagers hanging out in Sligo vow that if Abba ever reunite they’ll be in the audience. Fast-forward 30 years and Maggie, Daniel, Charlie and Dee have long since drifted apart. But when Abba announce a comeback concert Maggie tracks down her former friends to make them keep their promise. The Dublin-based writer and journalist Brian Finnegan has created an absorbing read with lots of plot, and the locations and characters inject extra zest. My favourite is a thoughtful woman called Cassandra, but I could have done without Maggie, who has martyrdom down to an art. As each of the mates is suffering a crisis, the book poses poignant questions. If the adult you become is shockingly different from the person your family expected, can you win their acceptance? Can a father who’s been missing in action help his child defeat bullies? Why do feisty girls grow into doormats? One quibble: Finnegan cuts away from some enthralling situations. When a man finds out the woman he’s sleeping with was born male, I want to know what happens straight away, not read about it later as a flashback.