The debut novel from Ian Ayris, a well known writer in online circles, Abide With Me will surely ensure that this author becomes well-known to a much wider audience, such is the quality of the book. Beginning in 1975, Abide With Me is the story of eight-year-old John, and his life growing up in the East End of London. John has dreams of becoming a footballer, and follows West Ham United religiously. Times are hard though, and all is not plain sailing. His dad’s job is in jeopardy, school isn’t where he wants to be, and he’s being pushed into being friends with the new boy who lives over the road. As we follow John’s passage through school into adulthood, he discovers life isn’t as easy as we believe it is when we’re young, and when John suddenly starts grabbing the attention of local gangster Ronnie Swordfish, he’s forced to make some tough decisions. Overall this is a story about characters, lives and redemption. An astounding story, with an original voice and style, Abide With Me is an absolute must read. It’s incredibly emotional, heart-warming and has an ending to die for.