Cover Image: Space Hopper

Space Hopper

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Member Reviews

What an extraordinary book, unlike anything I've read before. Cleverly structured and thought provoking, it's a portrait of grief and an exploration of the idea of blind faith. Loved the husband's role in the story and his reaction to Faye's time travelling.  The character of Elizabeth was interesting too, exploring the question of whether you'd live a richer life if you didn't have any fear for the future. I can see this becoming a modern classic and I know I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
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A really unusual book and totally different to my usual genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it well written and a real page turner
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Delightfully quirky.
This book has several themes running through it - live, friendships,  grief & loneliness.
This is a well written book with an unusual plot that works. It isn't your normal type of time travel book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
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Interesting time travel story - you need to be able to 'go with it' so if you are a stickler for reality this probably isn't the book for you. The premise of the tale holds up well and I did not foresee the twist at the end - I am not the greatest detective but I do usually sniff out a twist, but not in this case. 

So far so good, but I have a slight feeling of 'meh'.  I think my ambivalence is down to the pace and in some cases the character.  Faye spends so much time telling us how handsome, gorgeous, trustworthy her husband is that it seems inconceivable that she would live such a whopping lie.  Perhaps she is one of those people that posts wonderful life stories on Facebook but you find out later it was all a cover for a torrid marriage.  My other issue was the pace, at one point we are treated to a recipe paragraph on how to make tortilla chips the way the husband likes them best.  There was a lot of meandering and repetition - how many times did she need to be told that time travel probably was not the best and safest plan?

Anyway apart from those quibbles I did enjoy it and it is a good, easy read.
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Thank you to NetGalley for this copy. I've also received an audio copy from NetGalley and so will leave a full review on that one, thanks!!
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Faye lost her beloved mother Jeanie when she was eight. When a photo of herself as a child falls out of a cookery book, she wishes she could step into the photo and spend time with her Mum once more. In the photo is a Space Hopper box, and this box is in her attic. She goes to find it, but when she steps inside, she finds herself falling - through time. Waking up, bruised and battered, she is able to engineer a way to spend time with her mother, and herself as a 6 year old. She gets to know her Mum in a way she never could before.

But back in her present life, her husband Eddie is upset because he senses she is hiding something from him. A dramatic event sees Faye telling him everything and he persuades her that she must let the past go, and let the box go. 

In a quiet cove, they release the box into the sea. But that is not the end of this story, for things are about to get stranger still. 

A sweet, leap of faith story about life, love and looking ahead, not behind.
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A brilliant read, all about mothers and how they are always such a huge importance and have a huge presence or gap in our lives.
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Such an unusual book!

The themes and characters will remain with me for a long time.  I was not sure about the author addressing me personally, but eventually it became a conversation between the two of us.  

The ending was appropriate and brought the story to a full circle. I cannot say i loved this, but it was well written and thought provoking/
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I thought this was an amazing book. Much better than I expected it to be, although I thought it sounded interesting and different but it was so original and thought provoking, I absolutely loved it .As with many books you have to be able to go with the flow and suspend your disbelief to really get into it .I thought the story was charming,, alarming and had not got a clue how it was all going to pan out. No spoilers from me but I did think the end was in keeping and made me continue to think about the book, after I had finished it .I loved this book and would really like to read more by this wonderful author.
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This was a moving and interesting read. Faye's mother died under mysterious when she was young and has few memories of her. Something amazing and unbelievable happens that allows her to go back and see her mother. But this means leaving her husband and two young children in the present. Does she have to choose between her mum and her family? Or can she leave the past behind?
A great concept, if a little fantastical, but who wouldn't want to visit a loved one if they could? I liked the way the book was written - Faye talks to the reader and explains why she can't tell her husband what has happened to her. (I'll admit to doing as Faye suggests and told my husband I had visited my deceased grandad. He did think I was mad) Faye's dilemma feels very real as she struggles with leaving her own children, but also the pull of seeing her mother. I sort of guessed the ending but there was an unexpected twist to it that left me smiling.
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Definitely different, I really enjoyed the concept and there were some amazing ideas, I just struggled with Faye's thinking at times. This is going to be a book club winner for sure, there's so many different perspectives on her motivation.
It was a slow burn for me, but still enjoyable.
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Space Hopper is a thoughtful, feel-good read about family, holding on to memories and dealing with loss.
The narrative kept me engaged with the story and I always love the paradoxes of time travel and the possibilities connected with it. There were so many dangers and possibilities raised, linked to Faye's journeys back to visit her mother, that despite the enjoyment of the story, it felt reckless for her to continue.  
All the characters came across well and Louis, Faye's blind gay best friend, raised awareness of partially sighted issues as well as being just an enjoyable inclusion - did anyone else feel his out-of-story happy ending would have been pairing up with Elizabeth's son from the Serendipity shop?

An enjoyable cosy read for early 2021
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After stepping in to an old Space Hopper box in her attic, 36 year old Faye finds herself back in her childhood home.
A series of events lead to her then planning a return visit to see if she can find some answers to things that happened between her losing her mother and her life now.
But the pull of spending time with her mother is weighed up against her life now with her husband and two daughters. 

The first part of this book took a bit of getting into - there was a period of time after Faye's first visit where a fair bit of time seemed to pass without much happening.
The rest of the story did pull me in alot more.
Her existence in her past home was done differently to how I had initially thought and it actually made more sense this way so was definitely a good thing.
It also kept you thinking throughout the second half how it was going to conclude - I did not see it coming at all!
I wasn't a massive fan of the characters, except Louis, who gave us an amazing (and sometimes shocking!) insight in to how blind people are often ignored or treated in a lesser way.
But I loved the idea behind the story and enjoyed reading it.
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As a child of the 70s myself, and a previous space hopper owner, I couldn't wait to read Helen Fisher's debut novel, Space Hopper.  The must have toy of the 70s, I always found the grinning face on the space hopper to be a bit evil, especially when you consider that the handles look like horns.  I think the author and publishers are wise to keep the orange devil off the cover but also roller skates are pivotal to the story.

Faye is a 36 year old happily married mother of two but she feels as incomplete as a jigsaw with a missing piece.  Faye's mother died when she was 8 years old but Faye can remember very little about that period of her life.  Now that she is older, Faye has questions about her mother that her elderly adoptive father can't answer.  When Faye finds her old space hopper box in the loft she magically falls through it into the 1970s...right into her childhood home. 

Space Hopper really is as good as it sounds.  Actually, it's even better if you're a child of the 70s as it's filled to the brim with nostalgia; things like Enid Blyton books, skates that tie over your shoes, biscuits on plates and mothers with tissues up their sleeves.  I had forgotten about those skates and I got a warm fuzzy feeling remembering the noisy clattering sound they made and magic cream being applied to grazed knees after inevitably falling over.

Helen Fisher's writing is completely astounding; it's warm, incredibly vivid and almost interactive as Faye appears to talk to the reader.  I was so immersed in the book that I found myself about to answer her back at one point.  Faye's friend Louis is blind and there's a passage set on bonfire night where Faye describes fire to Louis and I just sat back after reading it and said: wow!  I was impressed, even if Louis wasn't!  With such beautiful writing, I'm definitely putting Helen Fisher at the top of my authors to watch list.

Without going into scientific details, Faye does explore the effect of her time travel.  Although it didn't even scratch the surface of the theory of time travel, I found this to be incredibly interesting and thought-provoking.  It should hopefully pacify those readers with more knowledge and opinions about time travel, whilst keeping those unfamiliar with it engaged and entertained.  

Space Hopper is astonishing, heart-achingly poignant and completely magical; I absolutely adored it and wholeheartedly recommend it.  It's a hugely entertaining nostalgiafest and if this isn't picked up for the big screen, I will eat my hat!

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing an ARC via NetGalley; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Space Hopper gives us a highly original look at a mother daughter relationship.
Faye, married with a family, lost her mother when she was young and when she finds a photograph of herself aged six sitting in her Space Hopper box under the Christmas tree she wishes she could go back and just spend some more time with her Mother and get to know her.
Without giving too much away there is a time travel element to this book which I loved and the way Faye deals with the issues of going back to the 70s brings up pulls the narrative in the book along beautifully through the two time frames.  
I particularly liked the character Louis who is Fayes friend that she confides in and who helps her deal with problems and issues along the way.
I really enjoyed the concept of this book right up until the unexpected twist at the end which I wasn't sure about but overall an interesting read.
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A brilliant read, all about mothers and how they are always such a huge importance and have a huge presence or gap in our lives.
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What are your thoughts on books with time travel as a central theme? I ask as in Space Hopper our lead character, Faye discovers that her old Space Hopper box acts as a time travelling portal, allowing her to literally hop through space and time.

I appreciate my opening paragraph may lead you to think that Space Hopper is a slice of sci-fi fiction, but it isn’t. It’s a beautiful exploration of faith, belief, loss and grief that cleverly uses the idea of time-travel to convey these conversations.

Although Faye is happily married with two daughters, she feels a constant sense of loss due to the death of her mother when she was a child. She would do anything to be able to have one more day with her – and suddenly, she finds that she can. Her Space Hopper box transports her back to the 1970s, she meets herself as a child, has an emotional reunion with her mother and tries her best not to cause havoc and break the rules of time travel.

Faye’s husband, Eddie is training to be a vicar – so themes of belief are raised through the book. Why is it fine to believe in God but not to believe in the concept of time travel? Both abstract concepts when you think about it – whatever floats your boat, right?

I enjoyed how another way faith is explored is through Faye’s job. She works at the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) and her good friend Louis is blind, so his take on the world – how he ‘sees’ things and lives his life gives a different perspective too.

There are always a lot of questions that ping into my mind when time travel as a theme pops up in a story. It’s how believable I feel it all is that will really make the book a winner for me. Does Space Hopper achieve that? Yes, indeed.

Space Hopper is a book that asks you to suspend your disbelief in the very best way (I got a few Alice in Wonderland vibes while reading too). It questions what it means to have faith and looks at how people deal with grief and loss in a wonderful way that mixes heartbreak and joy.

Faye presents her circumstances in such a sane, literal way that you find yourself thinking sometimes, just sometimes, let’s people believe whatever they need to to get them through a day or situation. Space Hopper is a stunning debut from Helen Fisher, definitely a book I’m still pondering a little while after reading, one of my emotional big-hitters of the year already: gentle but powerful.
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An immensely intriguing and thought provoking read.  I absolutely adored Faye's journey through time and the dialemma's she faced.  A beautiful story of family values with an incredible ending.  I loved every moment of Space Hopper and look forward to reading more from Helen Fisher. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster, and Netgalley for my advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Close your eyes and imagine you can be transported back to any time, any place of your choice, a chance to relive precious memories, explore your happy place and most importantly reunite with a loved one even if it’s only for a few hours. Who wouldn’t relish this opportunity? This novel will allow you to enjoy travelling back in time with the protagonist of this debut novel, Faye, whose story centres around a cherished photograph and a battered and bruised space hopper box. For any child of the seventies, as indeed I am, this magical and moving journey through time will make you smile, laugh and cry and even prompt you to consider the bigger questions about life, faith and the universe. 

I was never lucky enough to own one of those giant orange space hoppers (although I probably coveted one!) but I do remember having a pair of those strap onto your shoes roller skates that feature heavily in this storyline. More importantly I happen to have an older sister (only by ten minutes!) who shares the same name as our protagonist so however daft this sounds I knew within the opening pages I was going to fall in love with this character, her family and friends. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because it might get a bit turbulent!

Faye is happily married to Eddie and they have two much adored daughters Esther and Evie. Eddie is training to be part of the clergy, and whilst Faye doesn’t share his belief in God their relationship is built on honesty, trust, love and mutual respect and support. Faye has so much in her life to be thankful for and I warmed to her immediately, yet there is a sadness that lies within her, grieving for the mother she lost when she was only eight years old. Can you imagine what you could discover about a parent and your childhood self if we possessed the ability to time travel? Well, for Faye this becomes a reality when she discovers a photograph trapped within the pages of her mother’s well thumbed cookery book, a memento that is at the heart of Faye’s unexpected, unbelievable but highly emotional journey back to a time when her mother Jeanie was still alive. This photograph taken at Christmas time and featuring Faye sitting inside the empty space hopper box depicts a well loved child and whilst Jeanie isn’t in the frame, Faye and the reader can sense her presence. You can feel the power this photograph has over Faye, the significance of memories it brings into focus, pulling her back to a past that she is afraid to let go of. For this thirty something year old woman the photograph she keeps close to her at all times, acts as a comfort blanket, so that one foot is tethered in the past, the other in the present. Bizarrely the box in question has accompanied Faye throughout her life, currently taking up residence in her attic and wow does this box possess some superpower! With few memories of her mother to grasp onto ,and even less detail surrounding her mother’s death, Faye would like nothing more than to spend time with Jeanie and discover more about this woman who has taken on an almost mythical status. The space hopper box is Faye’s portal back to the 1970’s, a journey into the past that may threaten to interfere with her life in the present day. Keeping this unusual secret under wraps from Eddie, it’s a risk Faye is willing to undertake in a storyline that is overflowing with love and kindness and designed to capture the hearts of mothers and daughters alike.

As a single mother of an only daughter, this storyline couldn’t fail to resonate with me. I recognised the fear Jeanie feels just like any mother does at the thought of leaving this world before their time, wondering who will take care of their child. It would be easy to disappear down a black hole of doom and despair if the author allowed you to do so yet that’s far from the case. She writes with the utmost compassion, warmth and humour,inviting you to believe in the unbelievable,whilst contemplating some deep philosophical questions surrounding belief and faith in a higher being. All of the characters, both in the past and present add joy to this storyline, whose every word is imbued with an abundance of love, though it is never stifling. Louis, her best friend and accomplice is a delightful addition to a small cast of characters whom bring happiness into  Faye’s life making her a lucky individual indeed. This feel good aspect of the novel is highly contagious, leaving you feeling richer for having entered into this imaginary world. 

I found  Space Hopper to be magical, moving, poignant and profound and loved every single minute I spent with Faye and the rest of these wonderful characters. It’s charming and quirky with the magical element lasting from beginning to end. I shed a few tears along the way but ultimately this novel is so uplifting. The philosophical/ religious element adds a more serious tone that will appeal to fans of Mitch Albom and Richard Bach alike. What a beautiful way to kickstart a new year of reading! My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
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A brilliant read. I was utterly engrossed in Faye’s story. I loved the time travel and being back in the 70s. I loved seeing Faye tackle the dilemma around whether she should be doing what she was doing and how to explain it to her loved ones without sounding completely mad. A brilliant debut novel. I can’t wait to see what the author writes next.
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