Meet Simon Haines.
For a decade he’s been chasing his dream: partnership at the legendary, family-run law firm of Fiennes & Plunkett. The grueling hours and manic intensity of his job have come close to breaking him, but he has made it through the years and is now within a whisker of his millions: in less than two weeks, he will know the outcome of the partnership vote. He decides to spend the wait in Cuba in an attempt to rediscover his youthful enthusiasm and curiosity, and to clear his mind before the arrival of the news that might change his life forever. But alone in Havana he becomes lost in nostalgia and begins to relive his past…
Set against the backdrop of an uncertain world, and charged with emotion, Being Simon Haines is a searching story about contemporary London and aspiration, values and love. Painting a picture of a generation of young professionals, it asks the most universal of questions: are we strong enough to know who we are?
Welcome to my stop on the Being Simon Haines blog tour! Being Simon Haines is certainly a fascinating story. Everything in his life has been garnered towards chasing his ultimate goal – being made a partner at Fiennes & Plunkett. Escaping to Havana while he waits to find out if he’s got the job, Simon starts to question whether barely seeing his family and spending all that time in the office was really worth it.
One of the things that really struck me about this book is the way that it is written. It’s very realistic, and reads almost like an autobiography or non-fiction piece. It really brought Simon and the other characters to life with the memoir style and the bits of humour thrown in to make it even more enjoyable. Simon is fascinating, he’s intelligent, driven and in someways admirable for being so determined to reach his goals. I really loved the way this book takes you on the journey of his whole life, from his time as a school boy to his current time in Havana. It really allows you to see Simon grow and become the person that he is – as well as highlighting just what he has sacrificed to get there.
I think that Being Simon Haines is a particularly refreshing book, looking at the problems and sacrifices a person has to face in order to make it in the big city. A lot of the time books focus on the wonderful journey a person takes to reach their life goal, but this is a different sort of story altogether. It is certainly a very thought provoking book, and I was completely captivated by the story, reading it over one weekend. Being Simon Haines is one stunning debut, and I’m certainly looking forward to reading what Tom Vaughan MacAulay writes next!