Abide With Me by Ian Ayris (John Sissons : Volume One)
1975. Eight year old John Sissons watches his beloved West Ham win the FA cup just as his friend Kenny tumbles out the front door of the house opposite, blood all over his face.
Fourteen years later we find both boys - their childhoods ripped apart by the unforgiving streets of London’s East End – in a showdown with local gangster Ronnie Swordfish. The stakes couldn’t be higher and the decisions they make might just cast a shadow over their lives forever.
Abide with me is the story of two boys forced to walk blind into the darkness of their shattered lives and their struggle to emerge as men. It’s also a story of loyalty, of community, and of powerful friendships shaped by adversity and celebrated on the football terraces of England.
With power, sensitivity and wit, Ian Ayris has crafted one of the most authentic snapshots of working class life you will ever read.
Praise for Abide With Me
“If you remember the Queen’s Silver Jubilee parties, Choppers, staying out all day, jumpers for goalposts or have ever had a special football away day then this novel is for you.”
“Ayris brings a depth and level of emotion to his writing that most authors strive their entire career to achieve, and which many never do. The ending of this book is so powerful, poignant and heart breaking it actually brought tears to my eyes. If there is even a shred of justice in the world Abide With Me will garner the kind of widespread attention it so richly deserves.”
“'I absolutely loved Abide With Me and in places was very moved, to both laughter, and tears…”
“This is a triumph…”
“'It's literary, it's crime. Expect to be moved and taken to a whole different world that is as real as your own”
“An absolute straight-in-the-back-of-the-net knockout of a story”
“Within the first five chapters I had laughed out loud and come close to tears as the revelations tore at my heartstrings…”
“The ending Ayris builds for John and Kenny is one so powerful, poignant, and heartbreaking it actually made me stop reading it for a moment. I just had to stop. I couldn't go on.”
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