Cover Image: Eleven Lines to Somewhere

Eleven Lines to Somewhere

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Member Reviews

Brilliant. I highly recommend this book to anyone. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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There is something hypnotic and mesmerising about this book, which is about connections made when travelling on the London Underground, the people we watch and who are watching us. The theme also links with mythology and fairy tale and the idea that experiencing grief, trauma and anxiety is like a spell that is difficult to break and requires an intervention before the happy ever after. The main characters are Ryan, who hasn’t moved on from the death of his first love, and the object of his obsession, who he names Millie, that he observes on his daily commute. Upon following Millie, whose real name is Sylvie, Ryan and the reader find out that she isn’t commuting, but trapped in an obsessive routine following the witnessing of a traumatic event. Other characters linked to them are also dealing with their own issues, some of which remained unresolved and whose journeys continue after we, as readers, exit the carriage after the resolution of Ryan’s and Sylvie’s story. I enjoyed this just as much as Alyson Rudd’s first novel The First Time Lauren Pailing died and would like to thank the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read it pre-publication.
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I wondered at times whether Rudd had specifically given this read a slightly disjointed feel. Sometimes the reader feels a little lost, other times the destination is known, and now and again the feeling of going steadfastly in the wrong direction grips you. That's what it's like on the tube sometimes. You can see it in commuters faces.

Sometimes there's a face or two that stand out. You wonder and then you go on with your own life. That's what the majority of this story feels like. Again, was it intentional, parallels drawn between the underground warrens in London and the threads in our lives. The entanglements, the choices, the crossroads we come to in life.

Ryan and what eventually becomes his quest or obsession, depending how you perceive his fascination with a stranger on the tube, is filled with emotions he doesn't want to face. Becoming distracted is an avoidance technique. Not having to face what he really feels.

It's a contemporary read with a literary fiction vibe. One that could do with being a little more concise at times, but the confusion adds to the storyline, especially when it comes to Sylvie and her story. It's very much a story of lives intersecting, connections being made, albeit often fleeting ones. It's also a story of loss, grief and ultimately one of love.
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This is beautifully written and explores so many moving subjects, grief, love, obsession. I loved the originality of the story and the characters.
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This is an intriguing book , This is a story set on the underground - Ryan spots a girl on the underground and is obsessed with her , he names her Millie and tries to see her each time he commutes to work. He follows her to try and find out more about her and is confused about the routes she takes on the underground as there seems to be no logic....The story unfolds and we find out about Ryan's lodger, his mother , his sister and 'Millie' . There are a lot of twists and turns in this story and it kept me hooked all the way through - its a poignant story of friendship, family , grief, loss and mental health,
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This is a remarkable book and I could not not put it down.

All of the characters in this book are real people with real lives. And yet this is what makes them extraordinary. They are are looking for love, dealing with grief and on their own journeys literally and metaphically.

Ryan spots Sylvie on the Underground on his morning commute. She is beautiful but sad and he is struck by the colour of her hair. He starts orchestrating opportunities to see her – getting to the station earlier, missing trains to see if she is on the next one. He always gets off before she does so one day he decides to follow her. This could be a bit disturbing if it was another character, but Ryan is such a sweet man that his obsession with Sylvie feels more romantic. Ryan himself is aware that his behaviour could be misconstrued and is always mindful of Sylvie’s feelings.

Ryan discovers that Sylvie doesn’t actually go anyway specific. She travels the tube network all day stopping for lunch and then returns home. The reasons for Sylvie’s behaviour gradually emerge as Ryan gets to know her and she begins to trust him. Despite the strange beginning to their relationship they both feel they are fated to be together.

What I like about this book is that Ryan’s family are so important to him and in shaping the man he has become.

Ryan’s mother Grace, looks after his Grandfather with support from her daughter, Hana. Connected by a shared past, tragedy and loss, Grace’s life has been one of caring for others. Her love for her children has shaped her identity. I loved how she blossomed towards the end of the book as she has the opportunity to do things for herself.

Every character in this book is brilliantly drawn and the fact that they are all so normal and real makes their stories thoroughly absorbing. Some parts of this book are heartbreakingly sad – I won’t spoil it as I want others to experience the story as the writer intended.

Everyone who has travelled on public transport, particularly the London Underground will relate to the moments of shared intimacy and connection with strangers that fill the book.

I really enjoyed this book and the characters, especially Ryan and Sylvie will stay with me. Thank you HQ and Netgalley for my gifted copy and for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.
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I really enjoyed this book - for the most part the characters were engaging and well-developed. There were some twists and turns and a great ending! It was not as good as the author’s debut but that book was so amazing it’s almost unfair to ask her to live up to it! I would definitely recommend this, it’s a pleasant, meandering, easy read.
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Eleven Lines to Somewhere 

Thanks so much to Hq Stories for having me on the tour for this one. 

The cover needs some appreciation on this book. It is beautiful. I signed up to this one as soon as I could 😍

Set in the London underground this book has such a fantastic premise. Everyone's lives intertwine and mix as the tube lines do. Great strong Characters with fantastic development.

It is a moving read covering many Important topics. Love, loss & grief. 

I struggled to get into this book at first which seems to be a common theme but that being said once I did I loved it. Once you come to terms with the writing style the story and writing flows perfectly.
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Eleven Lines to Somewhere is the story of many people whose lives intersect on the London Underground. It mainly focuses on Ryan who is smitten with a fellow passenger. He desperately wants to make a connection with her but can’t seem to do it in a “normal” way. So he decides to follow her.

What we get with Eleven Lines to Somewhere is an intriguing story much like Love Actually meets Crash in which we all play a small role in each others lives, almost like the butterfly effect.

I will admit that it did take me a while to get into the story of Eleven Lives to Somewhere (almost a quarter of the way through the book) and I did find the constant referencing of which TfL lines were being used a bit tedious - it is probably tittilating for someone who uses the various lines frequently but at times it became a bit dizzying. However, once the story got into its full swing it became an enjoyable read. 

One downside is that Eleven Lines to Somewhere is a mixed bag of resolution. Some of the characters story was rounded off nicely whereas others I felt were left floating in the ether. However, Ryan’s journey is a good story to follow and I enjoyed getting to know this character.

Eleven Lines to Somewhere by Alyson Rudd is available now.

For more information regarding Alyson Rudd (@allyrudd_times) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HWStories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.
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I found this book a little hard to get in to, I must admit. I found the writing didn't flow like I was expecting and thought the chapters jarring when switching between characters mid-chapter. I found myself a little confused at times.

The premise of the book was interesting though, I liked the idea of someone finding another person on the tube so captivating that they wanted to follow them and find out all they could about them. Some would say romantic, others would say stalker-ish!

It felt comforting reading about the London tube lines that we all know or have heard about. There was just something grounding.

Ultimately this book is about love, loss and grief. How every body deals with it differently, how it affects us all in different ways and it opened my eyes.
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Eleven Lines to Somewhere tells the story of Ryan Kennedy (33), a laboratory manager at a university, who commutes to work every day on the London Underground. One day, while people watching, he spots a young woman with ‘nearly red’ hair and, after seeing her several times, he’s smitten and tries to catch the same train as her every day and get on the front carriage, which is where she prefers to sit.

He names the woman ‘Millie’ and tries to ensure that his journey to work coincides with hers, checking the first carriage of each train as it arrives and waiting for the next one if he can’t see her. Millie appears to be in a world of her own, on a mission, and sits there reading her book, without acknowledging anyone around her.

Ryan begins to follow Millie on her daily journeys around the network and is confused by the routes she follows – there’s no pattern to her trips and she gets off at different stops every day, switches lines and, sometimes, waits for hours at a station, like she’s meeting someone. He can’t figure out what she does or where she works and assumes she’s based in several different offices and has meetings around London.

As the story unfolds, we learn more about Ryan, his lodger, Naomi, and the losses that he and his family have suffered. Ryan’s mum, Grace, and his sister, Hana, look after his grandpa (his father’s dad), who is still deeply mourning the death of his son.

We learn more about Millie’s story too – her real name is Sylvie and she has nowhere to be and is trapped travelling the tube for reasons that are revealed later on in the story. There’s a sadness about her and she isn’t sure how to move on and escape her current existence of endless travel.

When Ryan and Sylvie finally connect, we’re left hoping that they will be good for each other and be able to help each other heal and move on from the distressing events in their pasts.

The setting of the London Underground is like a cast of characters in itself as Millie/Sylvie and Ryan travel round the network taking different routes. People’s lives are intersecting like the tube trains: connections made and missed, lives criss-crossing and people passing by without seeing each other.

I liked Ryan but he is slightly stalkerish when he begins to follow Millie and his behaviour does seem rather obsessive at times! He would have been better off just plucking up the courage to speak to her, as opposed to trailing her around!

This is an engaging, absorbing book; one to be read carefully and savoured. It’s a rather meandering read at times – we’re introduced to new characters we haven’t met before and then other characters are discussed and I had to check to see if they had been mentioned before. The characters are strong and intelligently written though and I found them fascinating and relatable. I was curious to see how they’re all connected to the story and to each other.

Overall, this was an intriguing, poignant and thought-provoking novel about family, friendships, relationships, love, loss and grief. It was cleverly plotted and written in an unusual style and I liked the way we gradually built up a picture of each of the different characters and learnt how their past was affecting them from moving forward on their journeys.
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This is the second book I have read by Alyson Rudd, with the first one being The First Time Lauren Pailing Died. That book intrigued me, and when I saw Eleven Lines to Somewhere being published – I had to know and compare them. 

At the beginning, I was intrigued, knowing what the synopsis is. We meet Ryan and Sylvie (separately), and we get a small glimpse into their lives. In the beginning, Ryan’s story with his family and friends is more talked about. I liked getting to know Ryan, very slowly throughout the first half of the book. He is a very intriguing character himself, going through a personal time, as well as making very controversial decisions to get to know Sylvie better. 

I liked Sylvie’s story and her connection to the underground. It was very intriguing to me to read and understand how some moments in life can let us become something that we can’t help but be. That a certain experience can cause such a need for Sylvie to action. I loved the psychological aspect of her characterisation, and how the trauma was handled. 

Once Ryan and Sylvie got to know each other, the pace of the book changed, I felt. The pace was very slow, but the scenes moved very quickly in time.

Even though I loved Ryan and Sylvie as separate characters, I couldn’t love them as a couple.
I felt that there was chemistry and romance missing, and somehow their connection to each other was based on the need to help the other one with their own trauma. For me, that being a single reason to love someone makes me think a person is in such a relationship to only feel better about themselves. Look – I helped someone, I am a better person now. But that’s just my humble opinion. 

There were a lot of side characters that had their own storylines – which I really enjoyed. A lot of drama and twists happened with them, which was quite enjoyable to read. Some characters in the end were thrown into the story abruptly, almost as if for convenience to the story line. But it worked well in the end.

I really enjoyed this story. Still a 4 star, but I enjoyed it more than The First Time Lauren Pailing Died. If you love contemporary books with a lot of characters, this will be a very good pick for you!
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"And so the conversation ended as it had begun, with tales of the Underground and the girl who never got off it."

Ryan has struggled to move on since the death of his girlfriend fifteen years ago. Then one day he notices a young woman on the tube and is instantly smitten. He tries to learn more about her and travels on the same train each day hoping to find the courage to speak to her. He soon discovers that the young woman appears to be trapped on an endless commute, spending her days travelling the underground but going nowhere. 

Sylvie has travelled the underground each day since being fired from work eight months earlier. She’s caught in a meandering and never ending loop, waiting to find that elusive something that will enable her to feel able to stop her endless journey.

Can Ryan and Sylvie help each other break free of the ties that bind them to actions that prevent them from moving on with their lives?

Affecting, heartwarming and tender, Eleven Lines To Somewhere is a story of love, loss and moving on. Beautifully written, this was a slow burner for me, but by about a third of the way into the book I felt like I could really get into the story. 

I liked Ryan and Sylvie. They were quirky characters who we meet at a difficult time in both their lives, but I found them easy to like and relate to. I was soon fully invested in their lives and rooting for a happy ending after all the grief and trauma they suffered. 

In addition to the central characters, the author crafted a supporting cast who enhance and add depth to Ryan and Sylvie’s story that included friends, family and some strangers, who we don’t see how they connect with until late in the book. The London Underground that provides the backdrop for most of the book also feels like a character in itself, one that has entrenched the lives of the characters and become a part of them. It also felt symbolic of the lives of the characters; how they were confusing and chaotic, intersecting with one another in different patterns that change the course of their journey. 

This charming, poignant and uplifting story is like nothing I've ever read before and has made me eager to read the author's previous novel. A beautiful, character-driven story that I would recommend.
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I started this one on kindle last week (I read so slowly on kindle, I only make it through about 5% before falling asleep!) and I’m intrigued to see where it goes.

The descriptions are brilliant and the sense of suspense is building. I felt a little creeped out that the main character follows her and that his friends didn't see an issue with that but instead actively encouraged it.

I also think that the version on kindle was very poorly formatted and so some of the way it was intended to be written was lost (I have not marked down for this as cannot confirm if it is the fault of the formatting or not) as it felt like sometimes it started randomly talking in the voice of a random character without making us aware and then switching back just as quickly which completely stopped the natural flow of reading.
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An emotional, beautifully written story.

Rudd's unique writing style is captivating and poignant. I loved the symbolism of intersections,  overlapping of the underground lines, and that of the lives of the characters in this novel. 

This novel has love, loss & relationships at its heart. It delicately deals with various forms and the effects it has on all the lives around you. The scene with Ryan and his Grandfather was incredibly heartfelt.

It just missed out on 5⭐ because I felt the ending was a bit sudden. 

Overall, an enjoyable, poignant read with relatable characters. One to be considered and thought about, rather than devoured quickly. 

A huge thanks to HQ Stories & NetGalley for gifting me a copy in return for an open & honest review.

⭐⭐⭐⭐
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When Ryan spots a young woman on the tube he is instantly smitten. He starts trying to travel on the same tube hoping one day to make eye contact and maybe start a conversation, but travelling on the same tube train as her each day is easier said than done. Sometimes he lets several trains pass, almost making himself late for work for his job at the University in the process.
One day, he decides to follow her just to see where she gets off in the hope he can maybe chat to her or accidentally bump into her and realises she in fact doesn’t seem to have anywhere to be. She chops and changes tube trains with no logic and he looses her. He tries again another time and manages to “bump into her” and get chatting at a café in Waterloo.
Sylvie is in fact his mystery woman. Eight months before Ryan spots her, she has lost her job (because she complained about inappropriate behaviour from a male colleague) and she is given a generous payoff to leave without a fuss. Now she finds herself metaphorically trapped on the underground, seemingly unable to stop travelling.
I loved Alyson Rudd’s first book, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died which I read earlier this year so when I heard she had a new book out, I was excited to join the blog tour, so much so I agreed to read the ebook version (I’m not a fan of ebooks which shows how much I wanted to read it!) The good news is, I loved Eleven Lines to Somewhere just as much!
Ryan and Sylvie are the central characters in this book but there is a large cast of supporting characters who add depth to the story. We hear from Ryan’s side of the family – his grandfather, mum and older sister Hana live together. Ryan’s older brother died tragically as a child and he lost his father too. Hana was married but it ended badly and as the book begins, she has started dating again.
I loved the mystery of why Sylvie travels the underground and when we find out the reason it is heart-breaking and makes complete sense. Ryan wants to do what he can to help her, but is also hasn’t come to terms to the death of his own girlfriend 10 years previously.
I love Rudd’s distinctive writing – she has a particular style of writing which I really enjoy. I like how she takes her time and develops all the characters in the book including Paul (Ryan’s best friend), Naomi (Ryan’s housemate) and Ryan’s family, among others without detracting from the main story.
A story with a central theme of grief, it is poignant and sweet and I loved it. It also made me aware of how much I miss London and can’t wait to travel on the underground again!
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Unfortunately this book was a DNF for me. I found the writing style a bit messy and the storyline hard to follow. The narrator jumped back and forth and it wasn't quite clear whose perspective I was reading from. I really liked the premise of this book and the blurb sounds amazing but it just wasn't for me.
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Oh but this is a beautiful novel. I adored Alyson’s first novel, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died, but dare I say that this is even better, The writing is exquisite. Alyson manages to capture the very essence of love and loss and love again through the handful of characters she brings into our lives. Ryan is so likeable, almost ordinary and yet not. Watching him watch Millie as she travels through the underground is breathtaking. The instant connection he felt towards her was touching. Desperate to discover more about this woman, he follows her, agonising as he does it as not wanting to become stalkerish in his behaviour. He is a good guy though, we can feel that. One of the things I love most about Alyson’s writing is her ability to capture a character, make them real and make you care about them. It’s wonderful. She has the ability to hold you and make you invested in the outcome of their story.

The story centers around Ryan and Millie and we also see further into the people in their lives, no matter how briefly. Their loss, their love, it’s incredibly moving. The London Underground features heavily in this story. It is the Manderley to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, atmopsheric and integral to the events that unfold. But most of all it is a story of love, sadness, of letting go of the past and acceptance. It is a story of kindness, love and loss, a story about the journey that makes us who we are. It’s wonderful and I thoroughly recommend it.
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I read this for a blog tour. 

This is a rather sweet story that could have become something creepy but redeemed itself.

Ryan keeps seeing a beautiful woman on the Tube, then he starts following her (see what I mean about creepy), luckily he's convinced to speak to her and meets Sylvie, a young woman riding London's rails trying to fix something in herself.

They fall in love and begin to build something, other stories cross their paths, like the lines of the Underground, and it reminds us that we're all connected in tiny ways.

A smile might make someone's day and change their life, and being in the right place at the right moment can save them.

Weirdly I know the area of North London the characters travel into town from well, I used to catch the Piccadilly every day to uni so it was strange to imagine these stories playing out in the stations and carriages I've been in myself. While this is fiction, there are real stories going on around us every day.
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Grief is the theme at the core of this book. Each of the characters is suffering from grief in such a way that is incredibly realistic and almost painful to read. There are no 'steps' to get through here. Grief is not a trajectory or a journey with a final destination but follows the same meandering path that Sylvie takes on her endless Tube trips. 
The book manages to avoid becoming bleak though because there is also love in all its myriad forms, and a desire to live a good life. This is what gives the book such heart. I loved spending time with Ryan, Sylvie, Grace, Grandad, Hana and Naomi and was quite sad to read the last page. 

My thanks go to the publishers and Net Galley for the advance copy in return for an honest review.
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