Friday 29 May 2020

Review: Five Hundred Miles from You by Jenny Colgan

Lissa loves her job as a nurse, but recently she's been doing a better job of looking after other people than looking after herself. After a traumatic incident at work leaves her feeling overwhelmed, she agrees to swap lives with someone in a quiet village in Scotland.
Cormac is restless. Just out of the army, he's desperately in need of distraction, and there's precious little of it in Kirrinfief. Maybe three months in London is just what he needs.
As Lissa and Cormac warm to their new lives, emailing back and forth about anything and everything, finally things seem to be falling into place. But each of them feel there's still a piece missing. What - or who - could it be?
And what if it's currently five hundred miles away?

Review: This book is a lesson in how books can be both wildly romantic but also impressively real life at the same time. It has been too long since I have been immersed in a Jenny Colgan novel and I am so happy to be back in her world once again, this truly was a triumph. 

I absolutely loved the premise behind this novel, the idea of a job swap and living in one another's lives in the best kind of meet cute there could be and both of these characters were the kind of people who needed that change to push them out of their comfort zones and really make them sit up and take notice. I loved watching the journey that Lissa and Cormac both took during the course of this book. I loved all the intricate details they both knew about each other's lives and those we were let into as reader-it felt really special. 

Lissa is a really cool character to get to know because we know she has gone through a trauma, we start the book with that and so seeing how she deals with that instantly lets us into the secret of her character. Then taking her out of her comfort zone and dropping her in the middle of nowhere to sink or swim was really fun. I loved Cormac from the start, I would really love to have met him in real life and he is the person I would really like to see more from in future Jenny Colgan novels. I loved how he handled himself and I really liked watching his journey of bringing some Scottish heart to London. 

The book is a dual narrative of sorts which always make for a quicker read for me but there is occasionally a third voice, a kind of narrator who I can only assume is Jenny Colgan talking to us and this made the book read just a little like a fairytale, I felt it added another level and really appreciated it. I also feel like the setting added another level, I loved the juxtaposition between the Scottish setting and the urban hum of London. Having spent time living in both settings I could feel the difference coming off the pages and this writer’s description triggering lots of memories for me. 

I listened to this book on audio and the narrator did a really great job. When the book had both an English and a Scottish character I was prepared to be let down by the narrator's accents but she did really well with both accents and dialects and so I highly recommend this book to you in whatever format you choose. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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