Miss You by Kate Eberlen
Publishing Date: 11th August 2016
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 464
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Get to know Tess and Gus in Kate Eberlen’s first novel, Miss You.
Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven’t met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .
Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects.
Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be.
For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England.
Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?
“Miss You” is Kate Eberlen’s debut novel and I can tell you right now, at the beginning of my review, that it is a very impressing debut. It shows that life can get messy and that it is full of surprises and that nothing is straightforward in life and love. It shows that even when you are so young and full of life and hope, one thing can change everything.
The story is told from the main characters’, Tess and Gus, points of view, and I loved the smallest, subtlest mentions of their chance encounters and missed opportunities – I was actually looking for them so much, even though they mostly made me feel desperate, as I couldn’t believe that they were often so close, yet so far away. It spreads over the period of 16 years but the story doesn’t drag on, on the contrary, it is fast and full of emotions and feelings. It shows Tess and Gus growing, maturing, developing and trying to find what it really is that they want in their lives, it shows the mistakes they make. We actually know that they are destined for each other as we follow them on their journey through life and there were moments that I really couldn’t believe what must happen that they finally, eventually find each other again. I think it is really significant this time that we know that they are destined for each other, but the characters are barely aware of each other – it makes it even more interesting.
This story is full of poignant and important moments and greatly drawn characters full of depth and flaws, which makes them down – to – earth and more realistic. But as much as I appreciate the characters developing and being so thoroughly written, I did have some problems to like them. There were moments that I wanted to shake Tess as I had a feeling that she pities herself and takes the first and easiest route, making excuses about needing to take care of her younger sister. On the other hand, I fell for her incredibly and I appreciated the fact that she really sacrificed everything to look after Hope, and I was really angry with the girls’ father for so easily dumping this responsibility on Tess’s shoulders. In comparison to Tess we could say that Gus had it all, opportunities and chances and still he came across as very unhappy with life and with what he was getting. Sure, there was a big guilt issue, but nevertheless, some of the choices he’s made were controversial and not my favourite ones.
Because the novel spans over decades of the characters’ lives we are invited on a really exciting roller – coaster of changes, opportunities missed and not missed, and it was just like in a normal life. The characters share with us all the things that happened in their lives, their most hidden secrets and thoughts that they never told other people. It is a deep and complex story about people who’s paths nearly cross.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure about this book, not at all. It seemed so weird somehow. But then, the more I’ve read, the deeper I got into the story, the more those coincidental meetings – not meeting happened, the more I felt drawn into the story and the more I enjoyed it. This is a great, engaging and twisty stale about fate that often has different plans and about dealing with many challenges. There is really a lot happening in it – dealing with grief after loosing beloved mother to a cancer or a brother in an accident, feeling guilty, dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome , but also dealing with problems when the rug is being pulled out from under our feet, such as broken hearts, affairs, disappointments, lost hopes but also friendship, love and getting this lost hope back. Lovely, romantic and gripping novel, that I’d love to recommend to you!