Daniel James delivers a brutal look into two kids growing up in harsh conditions. I will be honest and say that this is not a happy book. Yet, it must get read. The realism and absolute devastation are important to understand. It is a reminder that we can never know what kind of road another human is traveling. So, above all, be kind at all costs.

  • Title: The Same Ledge
  • Author: Daniel James
  • Publisher: Lulu.com on May 29, 2020
  • Genre: Literary Fiction
  • Pages: 275
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Rating: 4/5

Many thanks to Emma from Damppebbles Blog Tours and Daniel James for gifting me a free copy of The Same Ledge in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Child Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence, Attempted Murder, Suicide, Self Harm, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism

Purchase From: Amazon USAmazon UK

Synopsis of The Same Ledge

Behind the postcard imagery of London, the darkest parts of the city house some of the saddest stories.

When Michael met Cameron, they were two boys who shared a bond and a ledge, an escape from their turbulent and violent home lives. But when Michael leaves, their lives drift apart into dramatically different directions until the events of the past bring them back together.

They are no longer boys, but the ledge remains. Can they save themselves? Can they save one another?

This raw debut from Daniel James is a literary fiction that delves into fragile friendships, social inequality and mental health.

Blurb provided by Lulu.com and Daniel James

My Review

Michael and Cameron are best friends who bond over a shared life of violence at home in a crap neighborhood. One is the protector of his siblings, and the other is the protected. Unfortunately, they both wind up on destructive paths. One does it through education and money, while the other sticks to the neighborhood and spirals into oblivion.

This novel was difficult for me to read. Violence and all the mental health issues that stem from it are a dangerous road for me to go down. My mental health is at risk. I read and read, waiting for a happy ending, but there was none. I loved these boys. I didn’t love what they had become and became sickened at some points. But the deep love I felt for them while on their separate paths was hard. I wanted more than anything to save them.

But, the hard parts are why you need to read this book. The material is ugly and often gruesome, but these boys’ lives matter. I know that the novel is a work of fiction. But for me, Michael and Cameron were real people in my life for the short time they were with me.

I award The Same Ledge 4 out of 5 stars. The only reason for marking down a star is because there is a tiny plot hole that I couldn’t reconcile. Though it is so small that others will likely not even notice. I encourage everyone to read this book. Your life will never be the same once these characters become your family.

About the Author: Daniel James

Daniel James is a London born writer residing in Toronto at the release of his debut novel. Daniel draws upon his own life experiences as a Londoner to create a descriptive account of life in the city,
exploring issues of inequality and the pressures on the human spirit blended naturally into one story.

Daniel uses modern day themes and explores complex issues that revolve around mental health, relationships and societal class, issues that have impacted his life in one way or another. The need to captivate and highlight these themes are the inspiration behind his writing. He hopes you connect and enjoy the story in your own way.

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