the most recommended debut of 2021
by Helen Fisher
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 1 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 4 Feb 2021
Simon and Schuster UK, Simon & Schuster UK
This is a story about taking a leap of faith
And believing the unbelievable
They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.
I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.
Right now, you probably think I’m going mad.
Let me explain…
Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?
Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.
*** Praise for Space Hopper ***
'A nostalgic, time-travelling romp' The Independent
‘Uplifting’ - Cosmopolitan
‘A quirky book full of wisdom’ – Woman & Home
‘I really enjoyed Space Hopper. It’s such an unusual, intriguing novel. It’s the first in ages that actually *interested* me’ Marian Keyes
‘Prepare to be entranced by this slightly bonkers novel. […] Brilliantly exploring themes of grief, love and loss, and peppered with cultural references that will delight anyone who grew up in the 1970s, Space Hopper will draw you in and keep you hooked right up until the last page’ – Heat, Book of the Week
‘Conjuring up Rowan Coleman’s The Summer Of Impossible Things and The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Space Hopper is the story of Faye who has a happy and loved life but lost her mother as a young girl. Then she stumbles across a way to travel back through to time to 1977, where she meets both her mother and her younger self. It sounds bonkers but it’s beautiful and explores grief, acceptance and love – providing much-needed solace right now’ Stylist
‘This is a magical, moving story about past and present, grief and healing, choices and yearning. A heart-warming, touching novel’ Platinum
‘It’s hard to believe that this is a debut, it’s so confidently written. This is a story that will sing to all’ Woman’s Way
‘A quirky story, full of love and laughter’ Best
‘Filled with nostalgic references, this heartfelt book is a lesson on living in the here and now’ My Weekly
‘Quirky, magical and wise. A wistful reflection on the love between a mother and daughter' Woman / Woman’s Weekly
‘Unprecedented times call for unprecedented novels…sounds odd but it works because of Fisher’s beautifully clear writing and the radiant sincerity of the heroine...Love, childhood, motherhood; whether you can or should fix the past, it’s all in this amazing book' Daily Mail
'A quirky, nostalgic tale' Daily Express
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 178 members
Faye finds a picture of a spacehopper from when she was little, she then finds the box and refuses to let go as it reminds her of when her mum was alive. There is a looming darkness around this box and a sense of possessiveness as she becomes nostalgic and obsessed with her past despite having the perfect life - a happy husband and two children she still misses her mother who died a long time ago. She then climbs into the box and falls 30 years into the past. She can finally see her mother again however there is a sense of unease as Faye and Faye Junior's world collide. The past takes over Faye and she lies to Eddie (her husband) and her close friends. As she begins to make changes in the past they have an effect on her future which leads to her questioning everything she has known as she desperately fights for the truth as old wounds are opened her greif is fresh. Despite the idea of a cardboard box being a portal into Fayes past I thought the ending was perfectly executed. The novel as a whole was uplifting. Fisher has created a gripping tale which evokes an array of emotions. I can't wait to have a physical copy of this book, also excited to see what the cover will look like
I absolutely loved this gem of a novel. It's quite unlike anything Ive read for a long time. The voice is so compelling & unique with a genuine thread of humour running all the way through. The exploration of grief & loss is beautifully executed. I also loved the mystery/surrealist element which lended the narrative a dreamlike quality. I will be recommending this to everyone!
Most of us would give anything to turn back time and revisit friends and family who are missing from our lives -and Faye gets the opportunity to do just that . A soon to be vicar's wife -travelling back in time -via a cardboard box -to catch up with her dead mum ?? I know it shouldn't work -but it soooo does -this is a fabulous story and I devoured it from beginning to end . This is one of my favourite books of the year . Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review
I absolutely adored this nostalgic and heartwarming story, possibly because I grew up in the same era and had the same roller skates gifted to me by a beloved late grandmother. The story is so lovely and makes me yearn for the possibility of time travel to be real. Told in a very clever way, I loved everything about this book and didn't want it to end.
I’ve had the privilege of reading both this full ARC. having already read the preview. Thank you. A story of a woman who has found a way of visiting her mum who had died 30 years previously. Yet this is no ordinary story of time travel and barely crosses into the sci-fi genre as, above all, it is a story of hope and love after a lifetime of loss. Helen Fisher has beautifully and rather wittily narrated a journey across two generations, bringing with it love, laughter and also despair. From the start to the end, the events, the little twists and heartfelt prose make this an emotional rollercoaster! Such a clever story, so cleverly written. Would definitely recommend.
Just finished and I'm very satisfied. One of the things I liked about this book is that the characters were nice. You don't often get that, I particularly liked Eddie, so handsome, so good. As the book went on I got more and more into it, I didn't want to put it down and had to know what happened. Much to the disgust of my very own Eddie trying to sleep while I kept the light on! It's a deep book, it's about faith and love and loss. Brilliantly done as well.
thank you for the opportunity to read this book and I loved it!!! i was hooked by the get go. i have never read a book like it! it made me laugh, cry cringe and gasp! it was well written and best book I have read in a long time, well done Helen Fisher this was a refreshing change in genre for me
I thought this was a great read. There are so many elements to it . Say time travel and lots of readers will say not for me, but it is not a sci fi book or a fantasy book. So much of this book we can relate to. The book is primarily about relationships, specifically mother and child. It focuses on a young mother who lost her own mother when she was only a young child. The characters are very well drawn and particularly important for me I really liked the ending.
Love love loved this book! I loved Helen’s writing her prose is just magical. Highly recommend reading this absolute gem.
I absolutely loved this book, and would give it more stars if I could. i am a complete sucker for a time-travel book, so I thought I would enjoy this story, but once I had started it, I couldn't put it down. It's a very sweet story about being a mother, and the importance of family and love, but wrapped up in a compelling time travel adventure. I was surprised (in a good way) by the ending, and I was also caught up in the nostalgia of being a child in the 1970's (I too had a Space Hopper!). I will be recommending this book to all my friends, and I look forward to reading more from Helen Fisher.
Faye misses her mother Jeanie, now even more so as she’s a mother to two little girls. She has a wonderful life but that bit without her loving parent is missing. But there’s a way of being able to speak to her mother again, one that you won’t see coming but is all the sweeter for it, and Faye wants to take it. Of course she does but with that choice comes another decision: to stay or to go. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut, it’s so confidently written and Fisher has written a novel that will sing to all.
"...don't dwell too much on the past.Life is ahead of you,and if you keep looking back you won't be able to see where you're going." This was a real page turner! Faye is a woman in her 30s who has missed her mother Jeanie for most of her life. She lost her mother at the young age of 8 and was later adopted by her kind ,children loving neighbours who for Faye's sake liked to pretend nothing had happened which caused Faye to know little to nothing about her mother's disappearance from her life. All she had that reminded her of living with her mother was a Space Hopper box. It was very near and dear to her and she didn't want to lose it,ever. So when Faye accidentally discovers that that very Space Hopper box is a time-travelling teleporter to her mother's house in the 1970s,she is at first very shocked and surprised but when she realizes what has happened,she wants to spend all the time in the world with her loved mother. Of course,that can't be possible because Faye has a loving husband and 2 amazing children in the present,so we follow Faye and her journey through time until she has to make a tough decision. Can she keep on travelling to the past and risk losing her family,or will she realize what she has and make the right decision? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Faye was a very well thought through character and I felt for her pain throughout the whole book. But a character I actually liked more than her is her blind friend Louis. Louis seemed to me like such a great friend. He was always there for Faye,even when she was about to make some stupid decision that could possibly ruin her life. He was always straight forward,no sugar coating or lying to make things easier.I really appreciated his character and it's not often we see a blind character that appears more than a few times throughout the book. I look forward to reading more stories from this author and considering that ending-maybe even a sequel? I won't spoil anything, I could see a sequel happening from that but this ending was satisfying as well. I'm also excited to see the official cover. This one has the orange of the box, but I do wonder what the final design will look like :).
This was a sheer joy to read. Beautifully written, enigmatic and full of magic. Faye is a wonderful narrator and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing her journey with her. An unusual concept which stretches the imagination in a good way and reaffirms the bonds of love.
I couldn’t put this down. This is the book I’d like to have written! My personal favourite novel is The Time Traveller’s Wife and if you like that, this is the book for you! On a personal note, I lost my own mum to cancer in 1977 - when part of the book is set - so this resonated with me and made me think about what I’d do if I could go back. I really identified with Faye and thought the portrayal of her was both sympathetic and honest. I hope the author decides to write a sequel. I’ll definitely read it!
Space Hopper was time well spent reading. I loved all the characters it was well written and totally caught me by surprise. A wonderful book to lose yourself in.
I absolutely loved this book from start to finish and just couldn't put it down. I literally read it in about 2 days and found it amusing in parts but also very emotional and moving. We've all experienced loss of loved ones and what would we give to be able to meet them again and be able to tell them all the things we wanted to say to them whilst they were with us but didn't get chance. This story was completely different to anything I've read before and parts of the story and how the characters felt really resonated with me. I hope this author writes more books and I've added her to my list of must reads
This is a story that’s a bit different. It starts off in a rather odd way and I wasn’t at all sure I’d enjoy it but as the story developed, I got swept up and invested in the extraordinary story and was utterly blown away by the end twist. A story of family, love and loss - a real feel good read that’s left me with a smile on my face.
Faye discovers accidentally that the box from her old Space Hopper is a bridge to her mother, who died when she was just eight years old and it also becomes a bridge to her past where she meets her Mother again and her younger self, as she time travels back to the 1970's. This book started off just being a quirky story but it ended up being so much more for me! It is a story of letting go, acceptance, grief, relationships and love. And I thought it was magical!