When We Were Young

When We Were Young
Genre : Fiction
Published : 22 Jul 2021 - Orion
A tender and funny story about wanting to go back - when you know it's time to move on.

Theo has been living in his parents' shed, nursing a broken heart and a wounded ego, convinced life can't get any worse. Then he gets evicted on his 30th birthday. Theo thinks he's done with the real world - until it shows up on his doorstep...

Joel is a successful TV scriptwriter, still in love with his teenage sweetheart. A proper grown-up - and yet he's falling apart at the seams. He's headed home to reconnect with best friend Theo - except they haven't spoken since the summer they turned 16.

One of them is keeping a secret, and the other is living a lie. But can the promise they once made to walk all 184 miles of the Thames Path help them find their way back to the truth - and to their friendship?


A funny, breezy summer read that digs deep into the richly fertile territory of male friendship... The tone is acutely funny, like a hard-hitting buddy movie dreamed up by Nick Hornby and David Nicholls... Roper is very good on the truths men hide from themselves as well as from each other.


Such a warm, uplifting read. It's a celebration of the bond we have with our oldest friends, and it's so funny.

Beth O'Leary

A brilliant, funny, insightful exploration of friendship, which properly made me laugh and cry.

Laura Marshall

Following up the wonderfully heartwarming SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR, Richard Roper is two for two with WHEN WE WERE YOUNG, an equally absorbing and heartfelt tale of past mistakes and friendship lost but never forgotten. Wholly relatable, with a compelling central pair, this novel will take you back to your past and might make you think about making some changes to your present. A joyful summer read.

Owen Nicholls

A lovely read.


A funny and heartwarming story.

Fabulous, The Sun

It’s a beautifully written comedy with strong Withnail And I overtones and dwells on powerlessness, whether at the hands of school bullies or violent adults at home, professional failure and, most of all, health.

Daily Mail

Quirky and moving, we love this tale of secrets and the bittersweet realities of growing up.

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