I am struggling to put into words how I feel about this book. Although I was warned by many of you guys when I started this book, that I will need a box of tissues to cope with the heartache, I was not prepared. There aren’t enough tissues in the world to help me come to terms with what I’ve just read. Today’s post is my review of Half a World Away by Mike Gayle, in case I didn’t make it quite obvious in the title of this post.. ha!
Half a World Away by Mike Gayle
Published in 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton
You can order a copy from Amazon, Waterstones
Kerry Hayes is a single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot forget her past.
Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose hill. Adopted as a young child, Noah never looks back.
When Kerry contacts Noah, the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will change both of their lives forever.
Trigger warnings:May contain spoilers. Select from here cancer, death, adoption to here to see list of trigger warnings.
I must admit Gayle is a new author for me, and I really enjoyed his writing. It’s captivating; it wraps you in this little bubble and it’s hard to notice the surroundings as it just sweeps you away. Definitely picking up his other work. But I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much with putting it into words how I feel about Half a World Away.. maybe it’s because I am so glad it touched me so much that it made me sob for a few hours on a Saturday morning. Today’s a hard day for me (I’m writing this on the 16th of January); it’s my late brother’s birthday and reading a book about long lost siblings and the unconditional love just hit me so much harder than I could even think was possible.
When I started this book, it was clear from the beginning that I will not be rushing through it. I wanted to cling onto every single word and really take in the message Gayle put out into the world. It took me two weeks to digest this story and I really recommend taking your time when reading this book. I don’t think I’d survived nor appreciated this story half as much as did had I sped through it.
What I particularly liked was how Gayle didn’t choose to make the narrative fluffy. There were so many opportunities for him to make it a story with a happy ending, but he chose to keep it real and I appreciate it so much. It took me a while to warm up to Kerry and Noah and the rest of the crew, but once I did it felt like they were part of my own family. Personally I think it’s a skill to be able to write a cast of characters that become so dear to the reader.
“Because that’s the thing about family, when it’s done right, there’s nothing in the world that you wouldn’t do for them, no obstacle you wouldn’t climb, no sacrifice you wouldn’t make, just to see them be okay.”
Half a World Away is honest, raw and moving story about finding one’s self, about family and about unconditional love and sacrifice. It’ll go on the “read again” shelf for when I feel I need the warm hug of a family when I’m unable to be with my own.
Highly recommend this!
Have you read this yet? Will you pick it up now? Let me know! 🙂