Book Review: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

April 27, 2017 contemporary, Kate Eberlen, romance 2

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about the book

“If ever a couple was ‘meant to be,’ it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant, and uplifting story of two lives crisscrossing over the years, with near miss after near miss. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”—Sophie Kinsella

A wryly romantic debut novel with echoes of One Day that asks, what if you just walked by the love of your life, but didn’t even know it?

“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.

Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.

A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment—the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.

But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .

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GENRE: Young Adult, Romantic Comedy
PUBLISHER: Harper
RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2017
PAGES: 448

my romantic education had come from novels and all my favourite heroines had to suffer misunderstanding and despair in their pursuit of true love

When I first read the premise of Miss You, I immediately thought of that opening scene in the movie You’ve Got Mail. The one where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks go through their daily commute, nearly connecting on more than one occasion. You find yourself wondering, when you’ve seen that movie as many times as I have, if the entire premise of the film would have turned out differently if they had run into each other.

Miss You isn’t quite what I was expecting but the premise is still there – two characters whose paths cross briefly in 1997 in Florence and whose lives continue to almost-intersect at different stages along the way until the summer of 2013.  The story is presented in vignettes that switch from Tess to Gus and makes that 448 pages seem more like half that number.

The concept of two lives obliviously intersecting over the span of nearly twenty years, lives that will mean something to each other one day, very much intrigues me. My husband and I had that experience on a much smaller level, and I have another small example with author Jennifer Slattery, but this novel made me wonder how often this happens – and how often we don’t realize it has. Gus says at one point, “We think we choose our friends, but perhaps it’s always a matter of chance.” Because of my own personal faith, I don’t agree with the “chance” aspect but I do believe that there is more of the Divine Hand in our friendships than we give Him credit for.

Bottom Line: Miss You by Kate Eberlen is creative and unique, well written and engaging. I must confess though that, while I loved the basic story, I didn’t really care for any of the characters or the choices they made along the way. The writing is great, the concept is fascinating, but the characters just didn’t do it for me. Still, I did become invested in wanting to see how it would all play out in the end.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 3 stars / Enjoyable read

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that this book does contain some foul language and scenes of an intimate nature.

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HarperCollins

about the author

Photograph by Leanne Dixon

Kate Eberlen grew up in a small town thirty miles from London and spent her childhood reading books and longing to escape. She studied Classics at Oxford University before pursuing various jobs in publishing and the arts. Recently, Kate trained to teach English as a Foreign Language with a view to spending more time in Italy, a country she loves and has visited many times. Kate is married with one son.

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What about you? Do you have a personal experience of paths crossing and you didn’t know about it until much later?

Carrie

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