This book was recommended to me enthusiastically by so many people that when I saw the Kindle version available to buy for the ridiculous price of 99p it was a no brainer.
And, well, just WOW. What a beautiful, funny, emotional, moving book. I loved everything about it. Everything!
The story is told from the dual perspectives of the very different but inextricably linked Noah and Kerry. Noah is a barrister with a wife and daughter. Having been adopted aged 2 into a wealthy family he gained a great education, graduated from Oxford and entered into a prestigious and lucrative career.
Kerry, is a single mum, lives in a less than desirable area and works as a domestic cleaner. She found herself in a care home for children from the age of 10 until she finally left aged 18.
Noah and Kerry are brother and sister, but they have never met. In fact, Noah doesn’t even know of Kerry’s existence until one day she writes to him.
The story explores issues surrounding the differing fortunes of the two siblings, and in telling it from both of their points of view, both of their thought processes and emotions when they start to build some kind of relationship. Both of these characters are absolutely wonderful. Neither appear to have an unkind bone in their body, and we really see how they are both desperate to do the best by everyone that they care for.
The writing is just perfect, it really pulled me in and didn’t let me go until I’d turned the final page. I became so invested in the lives of these beautiful people that, through the many tears that I cried towards the end, I really mourned having finished this book; it’s one that I’m certain will stay with me for a long time.
This is the first of Mike Gayle’s books that I have ever read but I’m going to be searching out the rest of his back catalogue. And I’ll be pressing “Half a World Away” into the hands of everyone I know!
Half a World Away is published by Hodder and Staunton and is available to buy now.