The Old Familiar Places by Sam Emony

Published: September 9, 2022

Brown Dog Books

Pages: 341

Genre: Coming of Age Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Sam Emony is a jazz promoter who has longed to write novels for 40+ years. He studied English and Drama and began writing in his teens. Sam built and managed his own software business and ran a live music venue in South Manchester for almost 20 years.

This coming-of-age novel follows the story of Sonny, and we cheer and suffer with him. In 1975 Sonny is dragged along to the funeral of family friend Freddie Wilson, music mogul and lawyer to the stars. Whilst tinkering on the grand piano in the music room in walks two bona fide legends, Charlie Watts and Syd Lawrence. They have him jamming along in no time. This sliding-doors, bittersweet moment propels him on a journey that he couldn’t have imagined, from Manchester to London to New York. Freddie’s widow Ruby pulls the levers, but can Sonny succeed?

“And my life changes.”

Sonny discovers his passion in an unusual way, but he is lucky enough to be in the right place and at the right time. What started as a chance of a lifetime jam session he turned into a lifelong career and passion—filled with love, lust, music, friendship, and heartbreak.

The journey of a life is quite remarkable. And this story was no different. It was beautifully written, with every moment getting its due course.

I fell in love with these characters. Sonny was so kind and eager. Ruby was generous and loving. Jess was loving and loyal. Every person had a role, and it was beautifully played.

We grow up with the main character throughout this novel. It is incredible to live 44 years of someone’s life in hours. But this novel transports you to these moments in time.

I haven’t had a book move me like this one in a long time. As I finished the novel with tears in my eyes, I felt like I had just witnessed something so powerful, pure, and beautiful.

This is an incredible coming-of-age book. The passion, the pain- it is all played out in the pages. The journey is long and chaotic at the moment, but ultimately never long enough.

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