Cover Image: The Ends of the Earth

The Ends of the Earth

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Member Reviews

An emotionally charged, poignant and heartbreaking story that kept me reading.
I cried, I felt for the characters, I couldn't put it down.
It's highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This is a novel which will swallow you up, heart and soul, and leave you feeling just a little bit wiser.

Mary O'Connor doesn't expect much from life but what she wants most of all is to find her first love who disappeared seven years ago. Each evening she heads to Ealing Broadway Station to stand among the day's travellers with a sign bearing the words 'Come Home Jim'. Her life is on hold. Will finding out the truth finally bring closure for Mary?

I read .. a LOT, but I'm not sure I've ever come across a novel quite like this before. It is a gentle, tender and touching tale which easily got under my skin. As the story unfolds, told both in the present and the past, I got pulled further into Mary's life and her pain was palpable. Getting to know about her daily routine, living situation and her friends felt like a privilege and a pleasure. The author has produced a beautifully planned, intriguing novel with a very different ending to the one most readers would expect and it is an impressive, heartwarming tale which made me really care about the outcome. It's been a real delight to read and, as such, scores a perfect five stars.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is - as always - my honest, original and unbiased review.
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Mary’s husband Jim disappeared seven years ago, Mary loved him and they had a very loving and happy marriage, as you can imagine his disappearance has greatly affected Mary who has not given up hope that he will return.

Every day for the last seven years Mary goes to Ealing Train Station and stands on the bustling platform with a sign that says “Come Home Jim” hoping he will see it! Every Day!

We then go to a second timeline when Jim and Mary meet and had a whirlwind romance, with Mary leaving Wales to be with Jim in London, we trace her path to the present day.

I really felt for Mary who never gave up hope, lots doubted her and wanted her to find happiness again and move on. 
The past and present timelines emerge together so effortlessly and Abbie Greaves did a fantastic job of writing a very moving, emotional story that covers loss but also incorporates hope and friendship where you would least expect it.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
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Love love love it. Abbie Greaves knows how to keep her reader totally hooked to the story. Such a well crafted novel with spectacular writing skill. The story about Mary O Connor who will go to the ends of the world to find her love. Story of love, acceptance and devastation it moves back and forth from 2005 to 2018. Looking fwd to buy a physical copy on its release.
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This lovely wonderful read, it is perfect book club book, something to curl with and just enjoy and relax with and take you away into another world.
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I found this to be a solid 'Good Read' 3.5 stars.

The premise really hooked me; an Irish woman, Mary, sits regularly outside a rail station holding a sign 'Come Home Jim' and I was so interested in 'who is Jim?' and the 'why?' of the story.
Mary works in a grocery store whilst also volunteering at Nightline and one evening she gets a call she believes must be Jim and this, understandably, throws her into turmoil.

There's also another character, Alice, whose story is interwoven and the book takes us, alternately;  back in time and in present time and is written from both women's points of view.

I enjoyed it, although, I found elements of it more riveting and easy to follow than others - there was a section of the book where I completely lost interest. However, I stuck with it as it's well written, it's a sad story about love, loss, relationships and mental health and it's got a decent ending.

Overall, I'd recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK / Cornerstone Century for the opportunity to preview.
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The Silent Treatment was one of my favourite books of last year so this new one by the author was on my highly anticipated list and I’m so happy to say that I very much enjoyed it. The Ends of the Earth follows Mary, who for seven years has stood at a railway station holding a sign saying ‘Come Home Jim’. The novel follows her in the present as we see what her life is like and how desperate she is to find Jim; it alternates with a timeline in the past when Mary and Jim first met and we get to see how they fell in love and made a life together. This is a beautiful novel that really draws you in. There is quite a focus on mental health, men’s mental health in particular, and this was so good to read about in a novel. There needs to be more awareness of this and more encouragement for men to be able to talk and this novel shows this without it ever feeling forced. The novel also follows a young journalist who meets Mary by chance and decides to try and help her find Jim. This novel had me under its spell very quickly and now I’ve finished it I keep wondering how the characters are now, which, for me, is always the sign of an excellent read. I recommend this one!
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I’d like to thank Random House UK, Cornerstone and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘The Ends Of The Earth’ by Abbie Greaves in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Over last seven years as soon as Mary O’Connor has finished work at the local supermarket she stands outside Ealing Broadway Train Station holding a sign saying ‘Come Home Jim’.  Alice sees Mary and immediately feels drawn to her when she learns the reason behind her vigil for Jim.  She enlists the aid of Kit to help her find Jim’s whereabouts so that Mary can have her questions answered and move on with her life.  

‘The Ends Of The Earth’ is a poignant and beautifully-written story of how a woman copes with the disappearance of the only man she’s ever loved after being told that he’d be there for her to the ends of the earth.  The descriptions of the characters are gentle and loving and the often-taboo subject of male mental health and alcoholism has been handled sensitively and with great empathy.  I’d become so involved with the story that I felt close to Mary, Ted, Alice and Kit and when the ending arrived it couldn’t be more perfect.  I have no hesitation in recommending this marvellous book that definitely deserves five stars!
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I enjoyed this book. It’s a sad story, but it’s written so well and the characters are believable and likeable and I just had to find out more about poor Mary and her life. I also enjoyed reading about Alice and thought her story was written well and flowed well in the book. Definitely recommend this one and will look out for more from Abbie in the future.
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The book is about a woman who has for the past seven years sat outside Ealing station with a sign saying ‘Come home Jim’. 
The book although too slow paced for me, focuses on some really important issues such as mental health, alcoholism  and the effects this has on relationships. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and of course the author for the advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Published on the 29th of April 2021! 

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley and Cornerstone for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book due to the themes of love, loss and a focus on men’s mental health. 

A topic that needs to be spoken about a lot more than it already is. 

The story follows Mary, a forty something woman who, for seven years, has been holding a vigil in Ealing station for her lost love. A sign “Come Home Jim” is the message she wants to be seen. 

When she goes viral, a young journalist befriends her and decides she wants to tell her story (but without actually mentioning it to Mary). Despite what she does, I think Alice ended up being a good friend to Mary. All of Mary’s friends were so good to her, and the theme of friendship remains a constant throughout the book. 

The book flicks between 2018, and the years of Mary and Jim’s relationship, from the day they meet up until the day he disappears whilst she’s away, and never comes home. 

I really liked the focus on their relationship as it showed how much the two of them grew with each other. When Jim’s mental health falters- Mary is there to support him. 

The author manages to write  about mental health issues with respect and also shine a light on how difficult it is to help someone through the darkest times. 

It’s a really great book with a variety of different characters, and even the minor characters in this story felt like they were part of the bigger picture. 

I will admit that the ending was unexpected but this made me love it. The book leads you into thinking there is about to be a happy ending and there is, of sorts, just not the one you think. 

The way the whole story came to a close was sad, but also heartwarming. Perfect for this book. 

4/5 stars.
Not only are the topics of this book important but everything feels like it should be there. A lovely story.
I really enjoyed it.
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The Ends of the Earth by Abbie Greaves

Jim went missing 7 years ago and his partner Mary has waited at Ealing Broadway tube station every evening since, holding a sign saying 'Come Home Jim'.  When Mary receives a phone call at Nightline, the charity where she volunteers, it triggers a chain of events which force her to face facts.

Wow - this book was absolutely brilliant!  I raced through it in 24 hours as I was desperate to find out what really happened to Jim.   The book has wonderful characters, a really intriguing and original storyline, and deals with issues such as love, friendship, mental health, truth and forgiveness.  I absolutely loved it - amazing!  Very highly recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
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Mary O'Connor waits at the gates of Ealing Broadway every day with a hand written sign saying "Come Home Jim". 
This is a poignant story of loss and how we all deal with it.
It is a serious book but that doesn't take away the profound links and stories of the characters within.
Hard reading in a couple of places, but found the second half of the book draws you in and enthralls you.
With so much about mental health this is a must read.
Profound and enthralling.
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An absolutely brilliant story. So poignant but with plenty of mystery. Great characters- all different but they melded so well together. I couldn’t get to the end quickly enough!
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A gem of a book, this really hits the spot.  Quirky, heart-warming, poignant but never twee, this is a story of great love and great loss, of fragile mental health and feelings of guilt, of finally moving on.  Men's mental health is very much a hot topic at the moment and this story really helps to show the damage that keeping things bottled up and not asking for help can do to the individual and those around them.  It is a joy to read and I heartily recommend it.
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Why is Mary sitting in the train station holding a sign and where has Jim gone?  The latter is the question  that Mary, who loved him, and Alice, a journalist looking for.a good story, want to answer,  Told between past and present, it's the story of a couple who fell in love and then, well, Jim disappeared.  Mary works in a shop but more importantly, works at a volunteer as a helpline for those having mental health crises.  Her colleagues and friends are supportive but unable to solve things.  Alice, who starts out only in self interest, finds herself wrapped up.  No spoilers from me.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is thoughtful, sensitive, and beautifully written.
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“We expect so much of love. And yet, like all of us, it can falter and it can fail.”

What happens when someone you love has promised to  be with you to the ends of the earth and then breaks that promise? It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that could be the cue for much heartache and introspection, self pity and denial depending upon your perspective. If like Mary, who’s lost the love of her life, you have the misguided notion that love can conquer all however many challenging obstacles are thrown in its path  then think again. Abbie Greaves dashes your fairytale hopes with a realistic and heartfelt portrayal of love, loss and longing that is simply sublime. 

Mary works by day at supermarket Supershop, spending a few nights a week at the crisis call centre Nightline. In between these times Mary holds a nightly vigil amongst the commuters at Ealing Broadway station; in her hands a homemade sign asking for Jim to come home. She’s been doing this for the past seven years without fail, a character engulfed by guilt and sadness, frozen in time and one that immediately tugged at my heartstrings. The ins and outs of Jim’s disappearance are slowly forthcoming as the author allows the intricacies of Mary and Jim’s relationship to  unfold, tantalising you with all the joyous highs and unbearable lows of their complicated love story. Taking the reader from the Stormont Hotel in Belfast where the couple first meet to Ealing, London, and from the height of their passion to their separation, the storyline also contains a mystery element which I loved. Whilst details of Jim’s disappearance had a profound effect upon my own mood, plunging me into despair and pity for two characters that never felt fictional to me I was bouyed up immensely by the investigative part of the narrative. A few things occur within a short space of time to lift the fog from Mary’s eyes, causing her to dust off those rose tinted spectacles, beginning with an unexpected call to the crisis centre, a chance meeting with Alice, a junior reporter on the local rag and a video of Mary’s nightly vigil that goes viral. All these seemingly minor events combine to form the basis of a wonderfully engaging read. The author has plotted meticulously well, bringing a lighter tone to the narrative with Kit and Alice’s roles so there’s little chance of sinking into doom and gloom. Certainly the dynamic between these two helps offset the despondency that traps some of the characters in cages of their own making. For me they are the armbands that keep the likes of Mary afloat and their presence is crucial in injecting a tiny amount of humour into this tale. Never deviating from the path of honesty and realism, anyone who has any experience, first or second hand of the debilitating effects of a loved one’s inability to let go of the past, this is fiction that will resonate with you on every level. 

Abbie Greaves writes about male mental health and the fragility of the human mind in a remarkably tender, accessible way. All of her  characters orbit the same circle, in which their lives are touched to varying degrees by this  hidden, unvoiced problem that gets swept under the carpet. The author’s fascination for everyday people afflicted by this condition, regardless of their age, status or lifestyle shines through in her thoughtful, insightful and poignant prose so that I consider her as an author of immense talent, and one that I intend to keep coming back to. Her flair for laying bare her characters souls, forensically scrutinising their habits and behaviours with such tenderness and compassion renders her an author high up on my favourite list. 

I think Abbie Greaves has brought the same sense of optimism to this novel as she did with The Silent Treatment, perhaps slightly more so, guiding her characters on a journey through their darkest days to brighter ones. Handling each one of them with the utmost delicacy, using friendship, kindness support and understanding to move them a few steps forward, Abbie Greaves introduces colour into the narrative striking the perfect balance between sadness and hopefulness. By enabling her characters to slough off years worth of guilt and feelings of inferiority to smooth the way to a happier future, this is ultimately a tale of metamorphosis. Maybe in due course as Mary and her new found friends can take their first faltering steps towards acceptance and forgiveness they can believe in time as a great healer even if they realise love doesn’t always save the day. In a novel I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, the author showcases her powers of emotional perceptiveness, reaching out to her readers in a manner that makes you feel you are not alone. This author clearly writes from the heart, creating characters who represent all us ordinary folk on the street which is why she deserves another 5 stars from a reader who isn’t isn’t always so easily impressed!! My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
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This is an enchanting read with a sad story at its heart. In essence this is a story of a couple who meet and fall in love, make a life together and despite their great love for one another they part, as one of them suffers from depression and feels that they cannot ruin the life of the other.

As a love story, this sounds like a sad and harsh summary, however the characters are likeable, warm and well written. Jim and Mary meet as young adults and although they are from different worlds they just get each other. Mary moves in with Jim and although she can see he suffers with self doubt she adores him and vice versa. He is a successful businessman and she and artist making maps. One day Jim doesn’t come home.

Seven long years have passed and Mary maintains a work life and daily vigil at the tube that brought Jim home, holding up a placard saying ‘Come home Jim’. She also volunteers at a call centre for troubled souls and one night she believes Jim has made contact. 

The story follows not only Mary but the search for Jim, which concludes in an unexpected way. 

This is a story of love, friendship, tackling mental health issues and was a thought provoking read which I would recommend. Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Ends of the Earth - Abbie Greaves

This book was not what I was expecting at all, it covered a range of topics such as mental health and abandonment. I found it a tough little read but it was concluded well and made a shed a tear or two. I did struggle a little with the pace of the book, but overall liked the concept and storyline. I would give this author a go again in the future. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for allowing me the chance to read and review this book.
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This gentle romance is a compelling read. From the minute we meet Mary O'Connor on her vigil at Ealing Station, where she stands every evening holding a home-made sign that pleads COME HOME, JIM, we're drawn to the intrigue and heartbreak that lies behind her simple plea. So is Alice Keating, junior reporter at the Ealing Bugle, who senses a story and determines to find out why Jim - who promised he'd be there for Mary till the ends of the earth - disappeared from her life seven years ago. 
In a dual narrative, Mary and Jim's story slowly unfolds as Alice enlists the help of young banker, Kit , a friend of Mary's at the Nightline Crisis call centre where they both volunteer, and they set out to track down Jim. 
Is a happy reunion on the cards? Maybe, maybe not, but Alice hopes finally discovering the truth about what happened to the love of her life will set Mary free from her heartbreak.
A character-driven story, the main players are all hugely interesting, empathetic people. Mary is gentle and kind, patient and stubborn, always ready to forgive and forget. Jim is a fascinating man, so loving and passionate - what can have made him do what he did? Alice is a complex character - she too has isues of abandonment, and the reader has to wonder if her quest to find Jim is for Mary or herself. Kit is delightfully straightforward and brings humour to the story, but he's not without his own issues, too, as is Ted, the kindly founder of Nightline Crisis.
Together, their stories crystallise the themes of love, betrayal and forgiveness that run through the book, along with the very important question of why more is not done to address the stigma surrounding male mental health in this country.
Beautifully paced and beautifully written, Mary and Jim's story will touch definitely touch your hearts.
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