Irish writer Claudia Carroll has a special and warm-hearted way of seeing her fictional world.
The Dublin author likes nothing better than to fill her fresh, funny novels with the sort of people we can all instantly recognise.
The pages teem with ordinary, likeable, workaday characters experiencing all manner of dreams, dramas and dilemmas that make up life’s emotional rollercoaster journey.
Charming stories, an entertaining cast, serious issues and a fine line in Irish wit have won Carroll a place in the bestsellers lists and the genuine affection of her army of adoring readers.
In Me and You, she puts the true meaning of friendship under the microscope, examining with a wise and perceptive eye how love and loyalty can heal even the most damaged of spirits.
Angie is certain she knows pretty much every dot and dash about her best friend Kitty. She knows Kitty is mad and wild and loves to wear clashing colours, that she’s incredibly funny and generous but also very unreliable.
So Angie is convinced that there is a perfect explanation for Kitty failing to turn up for their long-standing Christmas Eve birthday pampering appointment at Dublin’s luxurious Sanctuary Spa.
It’s Kitty’s present to Angie who has not had a good year – turned out of her flat, sacked from the job she relished and dumped by the boyfriend she loved.
That’s why Kitty is such an adorable and precious best friend… she’s lashed out on this expensive treat for Angie because she’s ridiculously generous, wildly extravagant and always adheres to her catchphrase ‘Sure, we’ll be a long time dead!’
Yes, Angie thinks she knows everything about Kitty, except she doesn’t…
Kitty, meanwhile, knows that she is the happiest she has ever been. After a troubled childhood, she knows she is lucky to have her wonderful boyfriend Simon and a best friend like Angie.
But what Kitty doesn’t know is that today, her past is finally going to catch up with her and change everything.
Written in part like a revealing diary, Me and You has an intriguing mystery at its soft-centred core and as we head off with Angie and Kitty, we learn just how hard it is to leave our old selves behind and how tough are the choices we sometimes have to make.
A wonderful summer story to beguile, bemuse and totally bewitch.
(Avon, paperback, £7.99)