The Other Us by Fiona Harper
Publishing Date: 4th May 2017
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 384
Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Women’s Fiction
If you could turn back time, would you choose a different life?
Forty-something Maggie is facing some hard truths. Her only child has flown the nest for university and, without her daughter in the house, she’s realising her life, and her marriage to Dan, is more than a little stale.
When she spots an announcement on Facebook about a uni reunion, she can’t help wondering what happened to Jude Hanson. The same night Dan proposed, Jude asked Maggie to run away with him, and she starts to wonder how different her life might have been if she’d broken Dan’s heart and taken Jude up on his offer.
Wondering turns into fantasising, and then one morning fantasising turns into reality. Maggie wakes up and discovers she’s back in 1992 and twenty-one again. Is she brave enough to choose the future she really wants, and if she is, will the grass be any greener on the other side of the fence?
Two men. Two very different possible futures. But is there only once chance at happiness?
Perfect for fans of One Day, The Versions of Us and Miss You.
Sometimes you see a book and you have a feeling that it is calling to you “please, read me!”I had such feeling with “The Other Us” by Fiona Harper, even without reading the synopsis I just knew I want to read this book, period, so I was incredibly happy to be accepted for it on NetGalley.
Maggie is forty – six and she’s not happy with her marriage. she starts wondering what would have happened if she, instead of marrying Dan, stayed with her university flame Jude – would her life be better? Would she be happier? I think it is the thing that happens to most of us, we sometimes wonder what if – but we don’t get the answer. However, Maggie did – one day she wakes up to discover she’s in her twenties again and she has a chance to see how her life would look like if she agreed to stay with Jude. So what follows are alternate stories of Maggie’s life with Dan and Jude and we see the consequences of the many different decisions she makes.
There were some things that just didn’t ring a bell for me, that just didn’t work. Firstly, I really don’t understand why Maggie has suddenly started “jumping” between three timelines. It happened oh just because, for no reason, and she calmly faced the fact and accepted it very quickly and it was nothing unusual for her. Such thing would scare the hell out of me if it happened to me. Then I had a big problem with Maggie herself. She has never seemed to be happy with things – never! She was disappointed with everything and she always found something, in all those three lives, to be unhappy about. She just didn’t know what she wants and it bothered me incredibly. I had a feeling she’s self – obsessed, everything was “I”, “me”, about her – yes, I do know it was written from her point of view but there came a moment that I just couldn’t hear any more of her whingeing. Thirdly, this book is so wordy! There are so many inner – monologues, reflections, what ifs, wondering, with little dialogues, and so it felt too dragging, too flat, too long, as if nothing, except for Maggie “jumping” (as she says so herself) was happening. I also didn’t see anything in particular she could learn from this “jumping”, the periods of times she skipped and the moments she found herself arriving were not so significant and were very random, there was no plan to them.
The good thing is that I never felt confused with the times changing and Maggie jumping. I also liked the fact that the book is ambitious, asking questions and making you wonder about your own life and happiness. “The Other Us” is a story about love, full of emotions and second chances and learning what is important. I’m sure it is a great, thought – provoking book but – sadly – it didn’t work for me the way I hoped it would. Nevertheless, please try it for yourself, you may find yourself falling in love with it.