The Other Half of Augusta Hope

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this novel, but definitely not one of my favourites of 2019.
I found it quite slow going, and never felt I really connected with any of the characters.
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A beautiful book that will stay with me for a long time. The impact of one small decision on your life is explored here in a way I've never encountered before. I laughed, I cried, and the characters are still fresh in my mind many weeks after reading. A bestseller for sure.
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This book was a total surprise and such a beautifully written book. The parallels in the lives of the characters and where one small decision can lead you to cross paths with someone you did not know would be the love of your life. I laughed and cried in equal measure and I would love to read how Augusta found her new life ten years on! I shall be highly recommending this to my friends.
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I absolutely loved this book although at times I was reading it through tears as it was so moving.
Joanna Glen's writing is so clever and so pared down it can tell you everything you need to know in one sentence. There's no waffle, it's  just beautifully crafted, conveying huge tidal waves of emotion in a few words.
I loved the way Augusta and Parfait's lives were slowly but inevitably moving closer and closer and although I was eager for this to happen I also savoured every word getting to that point.
It's a book about loss and grief but don't let that put you off because it's also about survival, coping and doing what you need to do to be happy.
Amazing debut.
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The Other Half of Augusta Hope is an enchanting read. The descriptive language is beautiful, both in relation to the personalities of the characters and also the various locations. The colours and sounds of England, Spain and Burundi were expertly brought to life. 

The story is passionate and emotional; sometimes sad and in the end uplifting. I thoroughly recommend it.
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I really didn’t enjoy this book at all. It has taken me days to read it. The only reason I didn’t give up on the book was because it was an ARC and I agreed to write a review. Which I couldn’t do if I gave up on it. Secondly I kept hoping that the book would improve, unfortunately that didn’t happen for me.

Augusta Hope is the youngest twin and born the day after her sister Julia. Augusta always feels as though she is the odd one out in her family.

She surrounds herself with words, and by the age of six she starts to memorise the dictionary. She seems to get something from the words that she just doesn’t get from her family. She also seems to end up alienating her family with her smart mouth and big words. Which her mother and father seem to look down on.

One day she is looking at a globe of the world and she comes across Burundi. She likes the way Burundi sounds when she says it, and from that day on she is obsessed with anything she can find out about the country. So much so that she drives her sister Julia mad with all of the facts.

Once Augusta starts high school she also becomes obsessed with learning Spanish and Latin. When she and her sister are 14 the family goes on a holiday to Spain, where they stay at the holiday home of one of their neighbours.

Something happens on the last day of their holiday but Augusta can’t get any information out of her family. As she wasn’t with them when they went out for a early morning breakfast on the beach she decided she wanted to stay in the villa. Augusta always knew something had happened as her sister Julia was changed forever.

When tragedy strikes their family years later, things come to ahead and Augusta finally finds out what had been troubling her sister since the family holiday in Spain.

Augusta ends up going back to Spain as she can no longer stand to live at home with her parents, after all of the tragedies. This is where she meet Parfait and finally her life seems to make sense, and for the first time she feels at home and happy.

Parfait is from Burundi and all he has ever know is the cruel world he has grown up in. Burundi is constantly at war and he sees most of his family murdered or brutally attacked. He become friends this their local priest at the missionary who was originally from Spain. The priest tells Parfait about his country and teaches him to speak Spanish.

When Parfait is a bit older he and his younger brother walk all the way from Burundi to Morocco. When they get to Morocco they meet up with another missionary who will help they get to Spain, but Parfait and his brother are sure that the missionary wants them to go back to Burundi, so in the middle of the night they sneak out and steal a boat. But tragedy strikes Parfait’s life again, which he hopes he will be able to slowly rebuild in Spain.

The majority of this book is about Augusta and Parfait’s childhood up until they both meet up in Spain as adults.

Unfortunately I can only give this book one star, as it just wasn’t for me and I didn’t enjoy it.
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Another book that I'd call a holiday read. It intertwines two very different lives cleverly and visually - suburban England, rural Spain and a migrant's journey across Africa to Spain - were wonderfully written and with each chapter I felt I was absolutely in each location.

The relationship plots were a little more formulaic and easy to work out but that didn't detract too much from the deeper messages in the writing.
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I really struggled with this book. In the end I didn't finish it. From the offset Augusta reminded me very much of Eleanor Oliphant and I couldn't get that out of my mind. I really didn't enjoy EO and decided not to continue with this one if I was going to be left with the same disappointment
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I LOVED THIS BOOK. I don’t want to give too much away about the story because I personally went into it blind, not knowing anything, and I’m so glad I had no idea what was going to happen. Therefore I’ll keep this review as spoiler free as possible.

To begin with, the characters are fantastic in this story. Augusta is a little unusual but not so quirky that she seemed like a caricature. She felt so real to me, as did all the other characters. It seemed like she rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way, particularly her parents, but you knew this was never Augusta’s intent and that her motivations were always good, which is what made her such an endearing protagonist. The relationship between Augusta and Julia was so touching; despite their differences and Augusta knowing that she was much less palatable than Julia, she never once resented her for that, and they always sought solace in each other. I loved how she interacted with Graham Cook, especially in spite of her father forbidding her to do so.

Parfait was also a wonderful character, and again, the sibling relationships within his storyline were so genuine and emotional. His unwavering determination and hope was so inspiring and I was rooting for his happiness every page of this book. I loved reading about his friendship with Victor, the priest, and with the friends he makes in Spain who encourage his pursuit of art, which is what eventually leads to his inevitable meeting with Augusta.

The pacing in this was perfect, and though the story wasn’t completely unpredictable, I was unsure of enough to keep me hooked and keen to know how things played out. The writing was also really engaging – told in first person and alternating between Augusta’s and Parfait’s points of view, I was able to really get inside their heads and really feel all their emotions, which was such a roller-coaster. There’s humour in this book, but it also deals with hope, grief, and forgiveness, and handles each of these so succinctly that it’s difficult not to have an emotional response to the book.

This book is going to stay with me for a very long time, and is definitely going to be one of the rare few that I actually reread. I really cannot recommend it enough, but I also recommend reading with tissues near to hand. With this absolutely beautiful debut from Joanna Glen, I’ll definitely be the first to pick up whatever she writes next.
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À fantastic read. Full of interesting twists and a real pager turner. A real competitor to Kate Atkinson
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This is a well written story of Augusta Hope and her twin sister Julia, two very different people right from the beginning. They are brought up by a repressed mum and dad in 60s/70s England. Julia (born just before midnight July 31st) conforms while Augusta (born after midnight August 1st) rebels at everything that comes her way. AUgusta loves words and reads dictionaries for pleasure. Julia is middle of the road at school and finds a boyfriend in high school, who she marries. Her hopes are to have her happy home with husband and children. Augusta goes off to university and wants to travel. Things nevery work out as you expect though, so there are a few bumps in the road. What happened on a holiday to Spain when the girls were 14 has a lifelong impact on the whole family, and alters their destiny forever. In a parallel story we meet Parfait, from Burundi, who experiences great family tragedy. Burundi has always been Augusta's country, the one she chose to find more about because of its interesting name. She learned all about it, and continues to take an interest. Parfait chose Spain as his interest, and aimed to love there. Will their worlds collide?  A sad, wistful, and lovely story. #augustahope #netgalley
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This is a well written book which took me through a range of emotions. It has an original  storyline which you don’t often get these days so held my interest all the way through. 

I loved the way the author made the main character real - by that I mean her flaws annoyed me - just like they would in a real friend. 

My only constructive feedback would be although this is a tale of two intertwined lives, Augusta’s story dominated. Parfait’s seemed an add on. Still it was an enjoyable and at times thought provoking book.
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A sterling effort and at times very absorbing, but at times its just so slow and repetitive. The story arc is predicatble, whichb wouldn't matter if the caharacters were more intriguing. All in all, it could have been a third shorter. I feel many will love the slow, dreamy pace and prose but its just not my taste
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It's remarkable that this is a debut novel. Such assured writing and such an original idea. Augusta is a lovely warm character who the reader roots for. Parfait has a fascinating personal story. The delicious feeling as their stars gradually align is what makes this book super rewarding, and memorable.
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Augusta Hope is a bit of an oddball, a little girl so obsessed with words that she reads the dictionary from front to back, and picks a random country in the library that she spends her life dreaming of. Her twin sister Julia is the opposite, the pretty one, the one who fits in, the one who falls in love and knows everything she wants in life, whilst Augusta just knows that she doesn’t know and doesn’t fit in. Half way across the world, in a country that Augusta obsesses about, a young boy has to deal with civil war, death and loss, and an epic journey to make it to a safe place he can call home.

The Other Half of August Hope follows these dual journeys – of Augusta and Julia making their way in the world, and Parfait’s struggle to find somewhere safe. I can’t say much more without giving away the story, but this is a book about journey and change, about finding out who you are, about family and friends, love and loss. Joanna Glen is a gifted storyteller who has created lively characters whose journey I fully experienced.

The Other Half of Augusta Hope is beautiful and brave and had me smiling, laughing and crying all in one sitting. Five Stars. Check it out on Amazon.
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What a nice find. This was the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. The story was different from anything I've read recently and really captured my attention. It was so well written and the characters were fantastic.
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I loved this book, the themes of flowers and butterflies, of new life, of the search for oneself. Augusta is an amazingly rich character who feels like she never fits, her twin Julia being the pretty, the popular, the simpler character, but it is Augusta who narrates her story in the most compelling way. Parfait lives in Burundi with his family initially but moves to Spain which is where the stories intertwine. This was a satisfying story to follow and Augusta and Parfait clearly characters made for each other - the other half of. Their stories intertwine without them being aware  of it and come to a satisfying conclusion.  Thanks to Netgalley for a free copy in exchange for a review.
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I started reading slowly, savouring the beautiful writing and getting to know twin sisters Julia and Augusta, and finished in a rush as I couldn’t put it down. The book really grabbed me from about halfway through, as the two strands draw Augusta and Parfait together. It is a clever, well-written novel about love, loss and family, with an unforgettable central character, Augusta. I loved the earlier chapters with the sisters growing up in the suburbs, Julia so sweet and kind, poetry-loving Augusta questioning and quirky. There are some incredibly sad moments too and I had to put down the novel a few times but it is ultimately an interesting, beautiful read with a heroine you won’t forget.
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I fell in love with this book after the first few chapters... I wished I was more like Augusta Hope! My heart broke over and over for Parfait. I laughed and cried in equal measure. Just stunningly wonderful!
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This is, quite honestly, astonishing for a debut novel - it would suit anyone who doesn’t quite fit in, who feels like a fish out of water, who’s family looks at them sideways and secretly thinks them a bit weird, but loves them anyway - well, meet Augusta Hope. 

She is all those things, she also loves words, she soaks up knowledge like a sponge and stores away facts. She is part of a duo, her twin Julia is her equal and opposite in all things, where Julia is beautiful, gentle and kind, Augusta is gangly, fiery and frustrated with her lot. She longs to escape her suburban existence in Willow Crescent and when the world as she knows it falls apart she does just that.

I loved this book, it was a joy to read,I gave it 4 rather than 5 stars because it had some pacing issues and some of the characters that I thought we were going to get to know in more depth, we didn’t. In particular I would have enjoyed spending more time with Wilfred who stopped speaking because there was nothing more to say. These are small points, and who doesn’t have some growing to do after their first novel - it really was a brilliant book, full of heart. 

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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