REVIEW: Half A World Away

“Small movements make life worth living…cherish each and every moment, good or bad, whether joyful or painful, as the precious fleeting gifts that they are.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

As a newbie to my local book club, it was my turn to pick the book of the month and it was a toss-up between Saltwater and Half A World Away. As we read Educated last month and it was quite a tough read for everyone, we decided we needed something a little easier and uplifting to read this month and therefore Half A World Away was the chosen pick.

What Did I Think?

I had heard mixed reviews of this book, with some people on social media loving it and others not convinced. So I was excited to finally get around to reading it myself, as it’s been one on my TBR for quite some time now. 

I was thrilled to read that the author, Mike Gayle, studied at Salford University which is just around the corner from me and it isn’t often that you see authors who studied in the North get the recognition they deserve. 

If you didn’t know, Half A World Away is about two people who were separated when they were young and put into care. One of them went to a lovely and wealthy family, whereas the other stayed in care until she was legally classed as an adult, and left to fend for herself. 

After some years, the two are finally reunited, but it’s clear that their history and different experiences have had a long-lasting effect on the both of them and they must go against everything they’ve ever known to make sure they don’t lose everything they love. 

What I loved most was the difference between Noah and Kerry’s life as it added to the story. The two characters were strong for different reasons; Kerry because she had to be a mother to Noah when she was a baby herself as well as deal with being in care her whole childhood and Noah, because he had to continue (and succeed) with his life despite the demons inside his head that he had never fully addressed. 

For me, Half A World Away was a really easy read and was full of loveable characters, especially the children who offered a breath of fresh air and elements of comedy to the story. 

I guess the one thing I probably didn’t enjoy was I found Kerry’s character voice quite exaggerated and forced. I feel like the author included old and not-that-common colloquialisms to differentiate between her and Noah but it wasn’t necessary in my opinion. But once I got over her character voice, I just settled into the story and enjoyed every bit of it.

Half A World Away

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: 2019
# of Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary
Trigger Warnings: adoption, drug & alcohol abuse, broken families, long-lost relatives, cancer, death, grief, miscarriage
Links: Goodreads, AmazonBlackwells

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