Cover Image: Half a World Away

Half a World Away

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Member Reviews

This was such a good book. It is the first one I have read by Mike Gayle but I really enjoyed it & will now read his  other books.
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Absolutely loved this book. The characters were engaging and the obstacles to overcome were original. I have read many of Mike's books and only been disappointed by one. This one restored my faith again. Look forward to the next one.
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That's the word that springs to mind when I think back on this book.   
The journey of half siblings who come together again after a lifetime of living very different lives. 

5 stars are not enough.
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This was such a lovely, thoughtful story that really showcased the various ways our lives can go for reasons outside our control. It's about the enduring love, and reconnecting, and family. I loved it a lot, even more than I thought I would. Really sad but satisfying ending, with a twist that was unexpected but you sort of understand, which is the best kind!
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Mike Gayle usually writes a different kind of story about men and relationships but this one is it heartfelt and emotive about two siblings split up and go very different ways and then years later they are back in touch. Such a lovely story with mikes usual ability to create characters we wish we knew and feel we do. Thanks for a fab read
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Words can't describe adequately what I feel about this book. 

Without a doubt Mike Gayle's best book, and I've read them all, and its such a powerful but heartbreaking story, 

I was almost in floods of tears for most of the last fifth of the book, and kept having to swallow the lump in my throat, purely as I didn't want people wondering why on earth I was crying poolside on holiday. 

Kerry and Noah couldn't have had any more different upbringings if they tried, but yet there are a few similarities in their lives. 

This is a story of siblings reconnecting after many years apart, but its also about family, and deals with tough subjects too, but in a sensitive manner. 

i really don't want to say much about the plot, purely as I feel its best discovered for yourself.  I went in completely blindly, having downloaded this purely because I love the author, and was rewarded with a fabulous experience. 

Such a fantastic story that I feel has enriched my life for having read it 

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton on Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Brought up in care single mum Kerry has never forgotten her baby brother adopted and lost to her.  She determines to find him and succeeds in finding Noah, a well-educated barrister whose adopted parents made him into the man he is.  When Kerry and Noah meet they bond immediately but each has a major emotional problem, for Kerry it is her health scare and her son, for Noah his lack of emotion is destroying his marriage.  Time is short for this family.
It is hard to categorise Mike Gayle's work.  He doesn't write chick-lit (or the male equivalent) yet his books are warm and comforting.  They're not high literature, they're too accessible for that.  They are tearjerking but in that life-affirming, feel good way that make the reader feel cosseted and privileged to share the lives of the protagonists.  I could go on but Mike Gayle is just a wonderful writer who takes social and emotional issues and creates literary magic.
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Funny and moving, captivating and completely heart-wrenching. A book that draws you in and makes you think - and evaluate what really is important in life. It will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. My favourite Mike Gayle book to date.
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This was a solid 4 stars until the last quarter of the book which elevated it to 5.
It made me quietly sob more than once and emotional connection is what elevates a book in my opinion. I think I thought I was getting something more lighthearted based on the blurb  (although reunited siblings isn't a light topic really) and cover but its so much deeper than that.
A few unexpected plot directions really added a serious dimension to this novel.

At times the book slowed with general conversation, and not a lot of action between characters, or with character thoughts. However, this helped us to really get inside of the mind and hearts of our two main characters, Noah and Kerry.

Well written and flowed well.

Thanks to Netgalley, Hodder and the author for this advanced review copy.
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Emotional family drama from the male and female perspectives; you'll need tissues.

A two-hander of viewpoints that will touch you. The story doesn't let up, and both sides bring honest and raw sentiments with them.

Kerry works diligently as a cleaner to raise her son by herself, taking pride in her flat, while holding onto hopes of the long-gone baby brother she lost in the care system when still a child herself. 

Noah Martineau is a well-spoken and successful barrister, married family man, who knows he was adopted but has never sought to know anything more about his origins. Keeping his feelings close to his chest, a letter out of the blue startles him into searching for more information about his history.

The two stories will of course collide, as the two disparate individuals reconnect.

Kerry is hard to dislike from the first, a hard-working mum, product of the care system and battling her own demons, her love for her lost little brother is unmistakable and genuine. Noah is a very different personality, with his feelings kept tightly under wraps, even from himself. 

The feel of the London of Kerry (run down estate, cheeky but loving son) and Noah (expensive house, privileged but down-to-earth family) is a meeting of two worlds, the differences between their lives are marked, even though we can't hear the difference in their voices, that are often referred to.

With a few plot surprises that move the story into darker territory, the themes of family, love and honesty saturate the book, but it doesn't become sentimental. Towards the end we are given scenes that moved me quite deeply, and had me in tears. 

It's a redemptive tale, but one that wrings you out along the way. This and Gayle's last have really impressed me with his insight into the male psyche and he brings out the thoughts and fears that too often seem to remain hidden.

With thanks to Netgalley for providing a sample reading copy.
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The narrative switches between Noah and Kerry and is beautifully written. It was so lovely and very interesting to see how their relationship developed after the reunion. It definitely tugs at the heart strings!

4 stars
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Heartwarming, uplifing and even brought a tear to my eye. Mike Gayle is a fantastic author and this has to be one of my favourites reads of this year. I enjoyed every second of it. A beautiful book yet heartbreaking.
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Back in my public transporting commuting days Mike Gayle was on my list of books that I would absolutely read once I got my hands on them. I wasn’t a huge book buyer in those days, frugality meant that I either borrowed from the local library (which actually meant the library closest to my work and I would spend my lunch hour maybe once a week going and collecting my next reads because my local library seemed to be open the exact same hours that I worked – go figure) or traded on the train market – fellow commuters who also hated standing on a train for half an hour with nothing to do. Oh how smartphones and kindles have changed the world. Anyway to keep up my end of the trade I quite often would buy books from the library for 10p. I think I managed to get every Jilly Cooper this way. Obviously those books must get worn out quickly 😉

Anyway, being honest I was a bit reluctant to pick up a Mike Gayle book after so many years. What if he’d lost his magic? What if success had made his writing complacent? What if I’m just a person who likes different things now? So I put off reading this book for a lot longer than I should. It’s been on my tbr pile for quite a while. Taunting me. Along with the other 26 books that I somehow have managed to stockpile despite promising myself I wouldn’t (I’m the same with chocolate – although I do tend to consume that rather more swiftly). And last night, buoyed by the false confidence of a very small glass of wine I started. I knew I was only going to read 10%, after all that has been a successful strategy for me in reading other books that, for one reason or another, I’ve been avoiding. So got to 10% but was midway through a chapter so finished it off. Oh what’s that? By the time the chapter ended I was a bit hooked – maybe I’ll read to 25%. Quarter of the way through a book is a good start. Then 33%. Then 50%. Once I hit 66% I knew that there would be no putting the book down until I finished. But, honestly, at around 88% I began to regret my choice for the absolute right reasons. 1am on a school night, with 2 very small glasses of wine onboard, is not the time to be reading the end to this tale. I think mid afternoon, in front of a log fire, surrounded by everyone you love and lots of puppies is the only time to be reading this book. Maybe with a hot chocolate (with all the toppings) and brand new loungewear. In the right frame of mind to become ‘tired and emotional’. And howl like a baby.

Without giving too much away (as you know I don’t like giving away spoilers) this is a tale of family and fate, of being open to life changing moments and recognising those that are just blips along the way. I’m just glad I no longer have to read Mike Gayle books on trains. And I’m sure the other commuters are too!

I received a free copy of an egalley of this book from the publisher through netgalley.
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Noah and Kerry lead completely different lives. 

Kerry is a working class single mother, Noah is a middle class criminal barrister. Yet they have a very strong connection. 

After they were taken into care, their lives took different paths, Noah was adopted into an academic and highly loving family whereas Kerry never got out of the care system. When Kerry finally tracks down the little brother she thought she had lost forever it is the catalyst for events that neither of them could have predicted. 

To say that this book broke my heart is an understatement. It didn’t just break it, it tore it out of my chest, played a quick game of keepy uppy before decided to ram it back in and let me deal with the fall out. 

Everything about Mike Gayle’s prose is raw and real showing that he is not afraid to shy away from strong and diverse issues such as how the care system fails some kids while others thrive. 

The characters jump off the page and I I’ve the interaction with the respective children who seem wise beyond their years especially Noah’s daughter Millie. 

The ending which I will not spoil reduced me to a wreck on my afternoon commute home from work of all places. Seriously, have you ever tried to bite your lip on a train crammed full of people?

Please I implore you if you haven’t read this book already just do yourself and go and get it. There are libraries and indie book shops alike where this treasure is waiting to be found. 

Thank you whole heartedly to the publishers and NetGally for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This novel is really well plotted,  well written,  with brilliantly wrought characters.  The writer is clearly very skilled,  and I'm sure many readers would love this.  

Unfortunately, it wasn't for me - I feel like the blurb and the content described slightly different books,  with the turning point at the middle necessarily changing the plot in a very effective way , but ensuring that I was no longer reading the book I chose.  

Im sure many readers have loved and will love this.  It's a great family drama,  and I'll certainly look at other books by this author.
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Tissues at the ready! I hadn’t read a Mike Gayle book in a long time, as I wasn’t sure his works are still relevant to my life. Reader-they are. I KNOW these families he is writing about – we all do.  That's the beauty of the author's plot and characters: he has created a world familiar to so many of us. This page turner tackles issues of race family, marriage and love with real aplomb. I adored it and will be reading Mike’s backlist over the summer. Absolutely one to read pack and read on holiday.
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This is a brilliantly written book and this author lives up to his reputation.  The characters are fascinating and their relationship to each other and so well orchestrated.

Kerry Hayes, now in her 40s has had a very difficult life but has really made the best of her circumstances.  Half of her childhood was spent in care, but her greatest achievement is being a mum to Kian.  They may live on a council estate, but Kerry has instilled manners and a good attitude to life in her 10-year-old son.

Successful barrister Noah Martineau lives and works in London.  He has been married to Rosalind for 15 years and has a 12-year-old daughter, Millie.  On the surface life is good, but recent events have put their marriage under stress.

The author explores the good versus evil people and how it is possible to make a life after a very difficult start in life.  Kerry hears from a stranger, that her birth mother has not only died but has already been buried.  She has never given up hoping to find her baby brother Jason, but she is not feeling desperate to find him.

Kerry and Noah finally meet up, and what they can eventually give each other in terms of love and support, make a huge difference to both of them and their families.

I loved this book and found that it incorporates laughter and sadness, but ultimately just a brilliant story.  One that will stay with me.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased.  My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
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I haven’t read many Mike Gayle books, but the blurb to this really hooked me in and I am glad I gave it a read. 
A truly heartwarming believable read with interesting characters and moving storyline. 

An easy and satisfying read.
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It’s been quite a while since I read a book by Mike Gayle. I wish I hadn’t left it so long. I love his style and his characters are always so real. He’s one on the few male authors I read. I don’t mean to, but the books I tend to get drawn to are usually by female authors.

(I do have several Nicolas Sparks books on my TBR pile and if I enjoy those as much as I do the film adaptations, it’ll address the balance more)

Half a World Away is an emotional book. It focuses on Kerry and Noah who are half brother and sister, but were separated when they were younger and brought up very differently.

Kerry has been trying to make contact with Noah for a while and when they finally meet, it’s not quite the reunion she’d hoped for. Noah’s marriage is shaky and things aren’t that rosy for Kerry either. As the story progresses, they get closer and discover more about each others upbringing and how different they are.

Kerry is keeping a huge secret from everyone, and when it’s revealed, it has a life changing impact on everyone. No spoilers, but this book is so tender and heartbreaking.

I’ve downloaded Mike Gayle’s last audiobook, so I’m looking forward to listening to that soon.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy of this book.
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Unfortunately, this was a "did not finish" for me. I found that there was a lot of stereotyping going on, the prose style was a bit simplistic, and that I could already predict what was going to happen.  Obviously there's a huge market for this kind of heart-warming soapy type of novel, and I wanted to try something different to what I normally read... but there's clearly a reason I don't normally read these kinds of books.  Not for me.
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