I’m back again! And pre-warning this post will get emotional. So as per-usual, I was sent on the food shop to be an actual adult… and I came home with books and junk food. Pray for my future children. I know, I’m terrible. But the two books that I got I had genuinely been dying to read, and given social distancing I thought it was a good idea to get while we were making a necessary journey already rather than making a delivery guy waltz up to my door a few days later. So, I bought books when I should’ve been stocking my freezer, again. The book that I’m going to tell you about today is Half a World Away by Mike Gayle. I’d heard a lot of hype, a lot of positive things, so we know I had to read it, duh!
So, Half a World Away comes under the genre of Contemporary Fiction. It was published in June 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton. It spans 320 pages and is available in paperback, hardback and ebook! I have the paperback version, which at the minute is available for like £4.50 in Morrison’s (cheap books, just sayin’) and as usual I will pop the synopsis from Goodreads for the book below:
Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.
But it wasn’t always that way…
Kerry Hayes is single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never hope to afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot ever forget her past.
Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a child, Noah always looks forward, never back.
When Kerry reaches out to the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will have life-changing consequences for them both.
Throughout the book, we follow the intertwined lives of Kerry and Noah. Kerry and Noah are long lost siblings. Separated from each other as children, when their mother couldn’t look after them, they were taken into care. Noah, who was born Jason, was so young when it all happened he remembers nothing of his first life. Kerry, however, remembers everything. All she’s ever wanted is to see her little brother again, to know he is happy and safe and healthy. Many years later, they finally meet, they both have their own children and lives so different than what they both had as children. They now have to make up for many years lost after being taken in to care.
I’m going to start off by saying this book made me sob. Just to get it out there. I cried like a baby. On the front of the book there is an excerpt from a review by the metro that reads “emotionally high voltage” and let me tell you, they weren’t lying. There is so much to love about this book. It is heart warming and heart breaking. It fills you with happiness and then it tugs that away and replaces it with sadness. I was on this emotional rollercoaster all the way through and I had my heart strings pulled and plucked all the way through. I’m giving Mike Gayle brownie points straight away for being the first book since Marley and Me to make me cry actual tears. I’m a bit of an ice queen when it comes to physically crying at books. It’s a hard job. But somehow he managed to do it.
The characters in the book as well are amazing. They were full of emotion, which I love to see in a book. They all wore their hearts clear for the reader to see. This made it feel like you really knew them and I think that is why it pulled at my emotions so much. Because it was laid out plain as day in front of me, the effect of every single part of this book on all the characters. Mike Gayle really hit all the details. You can tell he has put all of himself into creating this and making it something wonderful.
Another thing that I really appreciated was how he still included suspense and mystery. There were some plot twists in there that just came out of nowhere and hit you right in the feels. Completely unexpected but really brought the whole story together. The book was paced beautifully, not slow and not too faced paced. The balance that Mike Gayle got between all of the books different components is really something. I cannot praise it enough.
All in all, I loved this book. It made me feel so much. It sucked me in and spit me out a crying, snuffling mess. I think if a book doesn’t make you feel anything when you finish it, you’ve not read a good book. I had that little sense of losing something when I closed the back cover and put the book down. I had to have a minute to come back to reality and wipe my tears. I cannot praise it enough, which I know I’ve already said. But I don’t know what else to say, other than it’s a definite recommendation. If you’ve read it, let me know in the comments what you thought!
Star Rating /5