Thoughtful, reflective and spiritual, Michael’s memoir, The Summertime of Our Dreams is an ode to friendship, family and memory. It’s about making sense of one’s own life and death.
At the heart of the book is the correspondence between Michael and his dearly loved friend, Jim as they both are diagnosed with cancer and together face their own mortality. They discuss in a series of ‘letters’ what it means to make a good life, and be a good man, on family and friendship, on nostalgia for their youth, on aging and illness — with humour and pathos.
Michael and Jim explore their fraternal love for each other and for the men in their lives — brothers, sons, fathers and friends over letters in email. Both starting life as country boys raised on farms and in boarding houses, they write to each other on the lessons they’ve learned and reflect on the changing face of modern Australia — how it was when they were growing up and now.
His correspondence with Jim, illuminates the difficulties men of this generation have in opening up and sharing past the usual ‘bloke’s conversation’ to reveal to one another their fears, their love and their hopes. It also confirms how important it is for men to break these conventions, to nurture these connections and improve the conversation around traditional masculinity in modern Australia.