Blog tour: Small Joys

Welcome to the blog tour for Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah!

More about the book…

Harley is a young queer Black man struggling to find his way in mid-noughties Britain. Returning home to Dartford, having just dropped out of an undergraduate course in music journalism, he is wracked by feelings of failure and inadequacy. Standing in the local woods one day, on the verge of doing something drastic and irreversible, his hand is stayed by a stranger: a tall husky guy who emerges from the bushes holding a pair of binoculars.

Muddy is an ebullient Mancunian whose lust for his own life makes others feel better by association. A keen birdwatcher, rugby fanatic and Oasis obsessive, he quickly becomes a devoted and loyal friend to Harley who finds his enthusiasm infectious and his dimples irresistible. In no time at all, they become inseparable. Harley starts to think that life may be worth living after all, while Muddy discovers things about himself that the lads down the rugby club may struggle to understand.

But when figures from the past threaten to plunge Harley back into the depths of depression, his only hope of survival is Muddy and the small joys they create together. 

Moving, funny and tender, Small Joys is an epic novel about ordinary lives that introduces the world to an unforgettable cast of characters and a major new literary talent. 

More about the author…

Elvin James Mensah is a 27-year- old British-Ghanaian writer born and raised in South East London.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism from Bournemouth University, where he began writing his first novel.

When not writing about blackness and queerness, he can be found voraciously explaining either the interconnectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to his long-suffering friends, or the everlasting cultural impact of the Spice Girls.

His other hobbies include drinking copious amounts of Capri Sun and re- reading Donna Tartt and Hanya Yanigihara novels.

My impressions…

So beautiful! Having struggled with depression on and off over the last few years, the focus on the ‘small joys’ is something that is particularly important in my everyday life. This book has a quietly unassuming beauty that is a perfect balance between darkness and light. There is a lot of sadness but also a lot of hope. The connections among the numerous characters have an authentic feel, which made me even more involved in their happiness. Warning: this book will make you feel a newfound appreciation for the Muddy in your life!

Three words to describe it. Quiet. Moving. Hopeful.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it reminds me of a ray of sunshine!

Have I read any other books by the same author?  No, this is a lovely debut.


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