The Other Half of Augusta Hope

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Member Reviews

After a dramatic start – reminiscent of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books – we settle down to learning about the young Augusta Hope, who turned out to have a mind which thinks just like mine! I remember reading the dictionary – and being admonished for trying out new, obscure words in everyday speech – before moving on to encyclopedias. (I could happily spend the rest of my life on the Internet, learning forever...)                                                                                                                                                     But then Augusta’s life began to change, and she was no longer like me. Her life took so many different turns, yet all along it was leading her to the one place she needed to be – to the person she was to become – couldn’t have become, without all that happened along the way. Maybe we have to learn to look at our own lives that way, that all the things that happen – even the things we don’t want (or didn’t value at the time) – are for a purpose, leading us toward where we need to be : who we need to be. That is a lesson I will take with me from reading this book, not to regret what didn’t happen in my life, but to appreciate what did. (I also learned about being a twin, about the reality of life in Burundi,....and the meaning of ‘parfait’...)                                                                                                                                                        I won’t spoil the story by giving details, but one particularly poignant lesson was that learned by Augusta’s father, as to the way he treated a neighbour. It was a hard lesson, and a surprising outcome of an unexpected turn which his own life took – a reminder that it is never too late for redemption.
[The only reason I am not giving this 5 stars is because of some of the content – pages which I had to skip, and would have preferred not to be included.]
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Simply Captivating - 
"The Other Half of Augusta Hope" is the debut novel by Joanna Glen and what a debut it is. This novel is a literary gem and should be in everyone's suitcase for reading on holiday or wherever you find yourself. So intelligently written with twin narrative journeys through life. The characters brilliant and identifiable, the prose gently gliding the reader through the novel. Augusta and Parfait are truly great characters, their stories woven together with dexterity.
A truly Unmissable novel and a debut to boot. A hard act for Ms Glen to follow in her next novel.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. At first I couldn't think how these two people that you follow can be linked but towards the end it all started to make sense. It is very easy reading and would highly recommend this book to anyone. It has a bit of humour and a bit of love.
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This book was just lovely.  Great concept with the two halves coming together in a beautiful and healing way.  Great read.  Highly recommended.
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I loved this book!  There were parts that I found quite harrowing & too close to home (so I skim read them) and then immediately swapped kindles with my friend so she could read the book too!  

It's wonderful, heart warming, sad and all the things you'd want from a brilliant novel.  Congratulations Joanna Glen and I'll definitely look out for your next novel.
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Wonderful, warm writing at it's best. I loved this tale of 2 central characters from different worlds from the mundanity of suburbia to the horrors of Burundi. I will be telling all my friends to read it too!
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Oh my goodness- I’ve just finished this utterly intoxicating  novel and I am bowled over!
From the first paragraph I was enchanted by the author’s use of words- the perfect words- laid down  like a fantastic canvas daubed with iridescent colours.  

The characters were utterly credible (in the drastically different Augusta I saw myself), the need to escape the drudgery of her middle-class unadventurous upbringing, and the need to not conform. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the world in Burundi a parallel tale unravels, and the novel flits to and from between the two hemispheres, spiralling evermore out of control until the two tales become one. The reader laughs and weeps and feels the passion that is part of Spain. “A time to mourn and a time to dance”. 

I could not recommend this novel highly enough, and feel unable to leave this world that I found myself drawn into, to start reading another book.
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For me the story is about all of us being connected at some level, regardless of where we are in the world. Six degrees of separation. It’s also about fate and small pieces of a large puzzle fitting together to create a bigger picture. One could say it’s coincidence, one could also say there is no such thing as coincidence.

Augusta  and Julia are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Julia is everything her parents expect her to be and more, and Augusta dances to her very own music. She loves words. Words are life, discovery, mystery and knowledge. Words lead to people, things and places. They are doors to other worlds.

Simultaneously the reader is introduced to Parfait on the other side of the world. His life is a complete contrast to that of Augusta, and there is no connection between the two, barring a wish and a dream of places far away.

The juxtaposition of the two lives of these two young people is relevant to our day and age, especially that of Parfait. His fate as a refugee and that of his brother is tragic. Glen wants us to see the way we live our day-to-day lives, whilst men, women and children risk their lives to reach a safer country in an attempt to escape their war-torn countries and the violence.

In a way Julia becomes the guilty conscience the author hopes our society will develop. We need to stop acting as if we see nothing, hear nothing and then speak nothing. A visceral connection needs to be strung from us to them.

Both Parfait and Augusta experience and have to deal with incredible grief and guilt. It is one of the bridges that connects and leads them to each other. In fact they become the hypothetical bridge of connection.

It’s a profound and emotional piece of literary fiction. The main character has shades of Eleanor Oliphant, and the story is introspective with politics and family dynamics woven into this beautiful contemporary read.
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Love, love loved this book. Such an amazing piece of writing. A lovely story and I’m hoping to read more from this author.
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When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be a very light hearted read, but as I read on I soon discovered it wasn’t. In fact, this one dealt with some serious issues that I really wasn’t expecting.

The story is told  through two separate narratives from two main characters Augusta to Parfait. The story unfolds over a number of years. Although both stories are very different both characters wanted the same thing. To escape their existing lives and to find a place where they truly belong.

I loved the characters in this book they felt so unique and were wonderfully drawn. Augusta’s character was really interesting and her character developed really well as the book progressed. However, I found Parfait’s character to be my favourite by the end. I found his story very interesting, and loved reading about his story about his escape from a war torn country to his journey to Spain.

All in all, an enjoyable debut novel read that will make you laugh, feel sad and happy all at the same time. If you’re looking for cleverly well written book I highly recommend this one.

I would like to thank Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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This intriguing story is told from two different viewpoints, Augusta and Parfait and as I read the story I wondered what they had in common and if they would ever meet?  I wasn’t disappointed!  As their stories unravelled and I discovered more about their families and background they became so real to me, each having suffered in their own way.  There are some very sad parts in this book but overall an uplifting story giving a sense of hope.  I would definitely recommend it.
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I really loved the beginning of this book, the writing is utterly magical and the set up was intriguing. Unfortunately, I downloaded it at a time when I was incredibly busy at work and had very little time for reading - being a novice on netgalley, I didn’t realise that the download was time-limited, so I didn’t manage to finish the book! However, I am desperate to discover the outcome of this story, and will certainly be buying a copy once published.
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Completely unique, despite the common comparison to Eleanor Oliphant. 

I don't want to say too much about the plot, as it is fairly unique in that sense, but I will say it is quirky, bizarre, and yet also very moving. 

The dual narrative aspect surprised me, but once I got my head around it I did enjoy it, and found both voices very strong and well-written.

All in all, a very enjoyable read.
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It's hard to believe this is a debut novel. It's a well written, heartwarming book and a little bit quirky. I think it's worth reading and forming your own opinion on it. I have since seen several reviews comparing it to Eleanor Oliphant, I didn't feel this myself, but that's my opinion.
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This is a beautifully written book in which I quickly became very invested. I  did become a little impatient part way through thinking it was obvious how this was going to play out but then came the tragedies and I felt a little guilty  (that's how invested I was!)

The Other Half of Augusta Hope has a dual narrative shared between Augusta and Parfait which works very well. I might be a bit slow or have been tired when I began reading but I was a few chapters in before I realised Parfait is male.

One has to suspend one's belief somewhat but overall it works really well and I look forward to Joanna Glen's next book.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers.
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Narrated in retrospect by the titular character, this is a poignant look at belonging and alienation. Agusta Hope has always felt like an outsider in her family (which cut a little close to the bone for me personally). She is loved but they find it hard to understand her – she’s always seeking to know and understand more, lacking her twin’s acceptance of life. The other plot strand sees Parfait desperate to leave behind the war and the grief it had wreaked on him. The two threads twine together skilfully and the result is a well drawn observation character led story with a very satisfying ending.
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I listened to the Audible version of The Other Half Of Augusta Hope which was narrated by the wonderful voices of Stephanie Racine and Jude Owusu.

I always choose my audible books that have a character led story rather than a gripping thriller as I love to savour the story and get to know the characters over a period of weeks rather than an afternoon frantically page turning.

Augusta Hope is the most wonderful, observational, honest character that I fell for almost immediately. She narrates her story with an innocence and honesty that is both refreshing and emotional.

The story begins with Augusta looking back at her life, growing up in a small town in England with her twin sister Julia and her staid and uptight parents. She is different to her perfect twin, questioning everything and looking to escape her Suburban childhood as soon as she can.

This is a really slow burner but the narrators bring the story to life. It was absolutely mesmerising, beautiful in parts, heartbreaking in others.

I completely recommend the audible version of this story and can’t wait to see what the authors writes next.
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Augusta Hope feels like a misfit in her family- the difficult one, always questioning and seeking to extend her knowledge. Her family love her but clearly find it hard to understand her- even her twin, Julia is discombobulated by her on many occasions.
Parfait in Burundi is desperate to leave behind the war and grief that  his existence there has been whittled down to. 
This story skilfully brings these separate strands together and had me hooked. I liked both protagonists immensely and felt that they were true to themselves throughout. Both suffer tragedy, but then build a life back. The ending is not unexpected, but the journey to it was well worth while. 

Well recommended. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC to review
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Augusta and Julia Hope are twins - but far from identical. Julia is pretty, girly, obedient, and everything her parents want in a daughter. Augusta is ... well ... none of these things.  She questions everything, loves words, spends time reading the dictionary, befriends the disabled boy next door when no one else will speak to him, reads poetry though not the 'tasteful' sort that her parents like but troublesome, unsettling stuff. The two girls are still inseparable; two halves of a whole.  
Augusta's passion for learning new words leads her to an atlas in which she discovers Burundi - a marvelous place she believes, from the sound of its name. But in Burundi itself, Parfait Nduwimana knows how far from marvelous the country is. His family has suffered horrendously during the war which ripped the country apart - his parents are dead, his sisters missing - but Parfait refuses to give up. He fervently believes that the best course of action is to leave, and make a new life elsewhere, so he and his younger brother Zion set off on a journey across Africa in the hope of reaching Spain.

This is the story of a girl dismissed by her parents as 'odd'. I didn't find her so myself but her parents are set in their ways and 'narrow' in outlook. Augusta is a misfit - too precocious, too outspoken, too clever for them - and from an early age seems to be instinctively searching for somewhere she'll be accepted. Things start a little slowly, but Augusta and her unfolding story grew on me, and although the ending is predictable, the route to it isn't, and the story-telling drew me on.

Who though is Augusta's other half? Her sister - so different in appearance and temperament - or Parfait - with a past more horrific than Augusta can imagine, but like her searching for a place to call home. Read it, and decide for yourself.
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This is a gentle book about growing up and beyond. A definite feeling of melancholy. We follow the story of Augusta and her twin sister, Julia along with their very ordinary parents. I really enjoyed the relationship and the difficulties in that relationship of the 2 sisters. I also particularly enjoyed when Augusta appeared to break free from her mundane life at university.

I found the Parfait sections difficult to follow at first as he just seemed to appear from nowhere and somehow they seemed almost like a dream but after a while they appeared to make sense.
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