Cover Image: The Ends of the Earth

The Ends of the Earth

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Member Reviews

I was really looking forward to reading this book. It held my interest to begin with but then I found it rather slow going and just couldn't connect with the characters.
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The Ends of the Earth (also titled Anywhere For You) is the second novel by British author, Abbie Greaves. For nigh on seven years, Mary O’Connor has stood, with a cardboard sign, for hours, virtually every night, at the gates of Ealing Broadway Underground, watching for one man. Mary’s not begging, not some old bag lady: she works days at the SuperShop; she volunteers at NightLine, the crisis call-centre; she’s well-groomed; and she’s beautiful. Her sign pleads “COME HOME JIM”.

One day, though, she loses her composure. She’s had a call at NightLine, and she’s sure it’s Jim. In the crush of the crowd at the station the next evening, her vocal eruption (‘WILL YOU GIVE ME SOME FECKING SPACE TO BREATHE!’) is captured on a phone and trends on Twitter. Junior investigative journalist at The Ealing Bugle, Alice Keaton witnesses Mary’s distress and offers comfort.

Usually reticent about her personal life, Mary opens up a little to Alice, revealing her anguish about Jim’s unexplained departure, seven years earlier, and her pledge to be there when he decides to return. Alice wonders why anyone would leave this beautiful, caring woman? Without disclosing that she’s a reporter, Alice vows to do all she can to find Jim, both for Mary’s sake, and because a front-page story like this will quash her looming redundancy.

Alice volunteers at NightLine, meets the rest of the team, and sees Mary home in the aftermath of another call from Jim. It gives her the opportunity to glean more information about the mystery man who has inspired such dedication in Mary. Alice has her own experience with a missing person, but a trek across the country all the way to the north of Scotland with NightLine volunteer Kit, chasing sightings of Jim, is the last thing she expected to be doing.

The story is presented with a dual timeline: the present day (2018) follows the progress of Alice’s search for Jim; the past details the romantic start, in 2005, to a love affair that at first seems idyllic. Gradually, though, the edges fray and reveal “a picture of Jim’s life that was more complex and troubled than the image presented through the lens of Mary’s adoration.”

“Mary suddenly realised that she’d been so swept away by Jim, their chemistry and the brilliance of him, that she hadn’t had the chance to assess the pedestal she’d strapped him to, the nicks and notches that made him as flawed as everyone else.”

Greaves is skilled in her portrayal of those stuck in the denial stage of grief, when acceptance is too painful a next step to take. She also highlights the terrible stigma attached to mental illness and the psychological burden that the pressure from expectations of family, friends and colleagues can exert, particularly for men: “Why must the world make men so . . . guarded? It is to their detriment.”

Greaves gives the reader believable characters, appealing for their very human flaws, some delightful romance, and a mix of promising and bittersweet but realistic endings. A heart-warming and thought-provoking read.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Random House UK Cornerstone.
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Relationships . . . and the paths they may follow.

‘The Ends Of The Earth’ is a tale about relationships . . . and the paths they may follow. It is primarily about Mary and Jim, who certainly seem to be perfect for each other.

Nevertheless, Jim had been trying to deal with his hidden demons and, like some men was unable to discuss his feelings with Mary. One day Jim had had enough and just disappeared! Imagine Mary’s shock when she came home from work only to find that Jim had packed and left, not even leaving a note!

Mary was brought up in Ireland and for the past few years had given up everything to share her life with Jim in Ealing, West London. As Mary was dedicated and loyal to her relationship with Jim, she decided to go to Ealing Broadway station each day and held up a banner saying, “Come home, Jim.” This certainly attracted plenty of attention, especially from Alice, a budding young journalist.

The tale moves through different timelines. . . Then and now. Many other characters are involved in the quest to find Jim. Most of them work in a call centre, helping people with mental health issues. 

It is good that Abbie Greaves has written about the sensitive topic of mental health, but I did feel that it dragged in places and didn’t always hold my attention. I think that it may appeal to some readers, but not especially to me! I prefer something more upbeat.


Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of this book to review.
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A great read, really heart-warming.  It had great characters that really resonated with me. The story was so lovely and left me with a smile on my face. I highly recommend this book.
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Beautiful, just absolutely beautiful!! I became so invested in these characters that I didn’t want the book to end. I want to know what they all did after the end of the novel. That is a high compliment from me.
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An interesting concept, but one that, for me, sadly failed to live up to it's potential. I was initially drawn in by Mary's story, and her daily vigil for the man she's searched for for seven years. However, it soon became rather monotonous, and sadly I struggled to engage with any of the characters. My overwhelming emotion was one of sadness that Mary had put her life on hold for so long, and I couldn't really understand why she did if I'm honest, as the sections depicting the early days of her romance with Jim were quite flat and lacking in terms of emotional connection. It's very much a character led book, and as such it became a bit of a drag given that I didn't really connect with Mary. I continued to read on because I wanted to know the truth about what happened to Jim, and I was rather underwhelmed at the grand reveal. While there were some lovely moments in this book, I personally struggled to connect with it, and as such it is not a book I can recommend. 

Disclaimer - I was fortunate enough to be provided with an advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley and the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way, and all opinions are my own.
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Wasn;t as good as i thought it would be, i dnfd this at around 23%. it did not grip me. I may try it at a later date though to see if my feelings change.
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To be honest it did take me a while to get into the storyline but once I did so it was a very sad but enjoyable read.  Great characters about love and friendship I felt as though I knew them and I found it to be a well written satisfying book.

Not my usual genre but I can thoroughly recommend this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House (Cornerstone) Publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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I’ll admit that I struggled with this book to begin with because the character of Jim annoyed me. I’m so glad I stuck with it though as it turned into a wonderful read with some lovely characters. The topic of male mental health has been sensitively dealt with in this book in my opinion and I would recommend this to a friend without hesitation.
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A book which, for me, has an interesting beginning, a middle that seems to go on forever, and an interesting ending.  How come did Jim vanish and why does Mary go to Ealing Broadway station every evening holding a placard which says 'come home Jim'.   Not for a day or two or a couple of months, but for Seven Years -seven years, night after night.  Did he leave because she didn't know when to drop a subject?  This book reminds us that we can never know another person inside and out - often we don't even know ourselves inside and out.  Each of the main people in the story - Mary, Ted, Alice and Kit - have to learn about themselves, acknowledge their pain and mental health problems and learn to move on.

I enjoyed the book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I read a free advance review copy of the book.  This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
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This is a story weaved in 2 timelines. In the more current one, Mary spends every evening, after work, at Ealing Station holding a sign that says "come home Jim". We find out that Jim was the love of Mary's life and he dissapeared 7 years earlier and Mary has no idea where he is. Mary meets Alice, with secrets of her own,  and Kit  who works with Mary at a telephone counseling service. Together Alice and Kit  decide to try and find Jim and bring him home.

In the past, throughout the book, we see Mary first meet Him at a function she is coordinating in Ireland, to the ups and downs of their relationship, until the point Jim dissapears and Mary commences her 7 year vigil for him.

I really loved the story and was very invested in the characters. There are also some very important insights in the story with various characters wrestling with different mental health issues. The story is well told, and will keep you invested until the end. Highly recommended.
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I started off enjoying this book but then it started to annoy me. Mary is beyond believable with her seven year vigil. The rest of the characters are needy, unprofessional and not very well padded out. Disappointing after a promising start. With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I know what I like and I liked this riveting and beautifully told modern story very much indeed. It felt to me just like a delicious bottle of wine; perhaps a 19 Crimes Australian red wine full of heart and body and based upon real events, just like our story which is based upon statistics about mental health issues, especially for men.  I couldn’t resist reading the story and soon I was eagerly turning the pages, invested in the characters and hoping against all hope that the story would have the right ending for me to enjoy. It wasn’t all hearts and roses and yes I certainly shed emotional tears – but still the cleverly envisaged and delivered story will stay with me for a long, long time.
The story told of Mary O’Connor’s greatest love story, how she met a dashing young doctor called Jim and went from Ireland to London to live with him for the best six years of their lives. He worshipped her and their happiness was true love. He promised her they would live their lifetime together and she knew it was the truth. She was kind, supportive and dedicated. She was also creative and artistic and soon she was confident enough to start her own business, attracting commissions and making a name for herself. They were the golden couple, inseparable, until one fateful day which is at the heart of this story.
Even before the day they met, Jim had mental health issues which may have stemmed from the early loss of his successful and much adored brother. He felt that he just couldn’t live up to his parents expectations. Eventually he bolted never to be seen again by Mary while she was in Ireland for her mother’s sixtieth birthday celebrations. He told Mary that he was unwell and that she would have to travel on her own just a short time before the taxi arrived to drive the couple to the airport. Mary was really gutted and even angry, but continued home to Ireland for the sake of her mother, only to return the next day to an empty flat and signs that Jim had left for good. 
Mary felt wracked with guilt and spent the next seven years of her life by devoting herself to keeping an evening vigil at Ealing Broadway station holding up a placard that urged Jim to return home.  She also became a counsellor providing, with other colleagues, a listening service for those who needed to be heard. She became famous quite unintentionally and that is how she met Alice, who also knew about love and loss through her own sad experience. It bound them together and Alice introduces us to her story and the resultant empathy she feels for Mary. This new thread within the story carries it forward in the most breath taking and creative way. I thought the character Alice was such a great addition to this powerful story highlighting depression, self-loathing, grief, compassion, uncertainty and love. She was my favourite character of them all although there were other notable characters within the story that acted in a wonderful way to move the story on so uniquely. What happened next truly marks this story as a fantastic read. I am not going to add any spoilers here, it is for you to enjoy if I have whetted your appetite.
I was delighted to receive a copy of this novel through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Cornerstone Digital, sent to me in return for an honest review.  I loved this novel; it sparkled with good intentions and was very alluring. I felt relieved about the fitting ending but saddened that the story had finished. I’m sure I will think about it many times in the future. I recommend this novel as an excellent and worthy 4.5* read.
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The Ends of The Earth was a very slow read for me. The only thing that kept me going was I just wanted to know if Mary will ever see Jim again. Mary spent every evening for the past seven years, in Ealing Station holding up a sign saying 'come home Jim'. Jim and Mary had a whirlwind romance and one day, he disappears. One night, Mary goes viral and Alice (a young journalist) befriends Mary and tries to find Jim. 

The book does a good job in highlighting mental health issues in men and I wish it could have focussed more on that angle too. Possibly offering us Jim's perspective. The book was very average at best.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK for the ARC in exchange of a honest review
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This is such a powerful book about depression, love, friendships and the never-ending search for the truth. 

Marry goes to Ealing Station every day holding up a sign saying "Come home Jim"
Who is Jim?  Where and why did he go? 

Along with her group of friends, Mary tries to find out.
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“‘I want you to know that I’ll be there for you, wherever that is – the ends of the earth, Ealing . . .’ He underlined the word on the map. ‘Always. I mean it. I hope you know that.’”

Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.
Every evening without fail, she arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands she holds a sign bearing the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’

Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere. That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?

Abbie Greaves has a knack for writing unusual tales of love and loss that tug at your heart. In Silent Treatment, her debut novel, she picked apart a marriage in the long, unending silence of a husband and wife. In Mary and Jim's story of a precious, imperfectly perfect life shared together, she explores the social stigma pertaining to male mental health and its impact on families and communities.

Greaves tells a compelling story replete with the thrill of suspense and the pull of a once-in-a-lifetime love. She draws you in with her evocative writing and rolling plot twists that keep the narrative moving, giving it a foot-tapping tempo.

Insightful and poignant, I find it hard to be done with this novel. It continues to play on my mind like a heartbeat steadily rising to the point it leaves you absolutely breathless.

This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Cornerstone.
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An enjoyable read but somewhat predictable.  I would have liked the main character to be stronger (due to what we found out in the end, which I will not spoil!)

Interesting themes of mental health though, particularly the experiences of men.
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Ah what a little gem this one was. Handled some very sensitive subjects well and I enjoyed it a lot, loved Mary and felt for her so much thought the book. A good read
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After throughly enjoying The Silent Treatment last year I was thrilled to see another book by Abbie was going to be released.  The general premise of The Ends of The Earth is the story of Mary who holds a vigil for her husband who goes missing - she does this every day for 7 years and one day this is picked up by someone on social media. 
Its a tale of love, loss, mental heath and Abbies writing style is so engaging - showcasing discovery and growth, friendship and emotions. 
Whilst the main story is of Mary and Jim over the course of their relationship and over the 7 years, the other storylines are woven in seamlessly - I loved Alice and Kit, and the dynamic of Ted. I couldn't put it down. 

Thank you to Net Galley, Abbie and Random House UK for the chance to read this book.
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This book makes you realise how important it is to look after our mental health, to talk to people and what amazing friends we have about. A great read
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