Half A World Away – Mike Gayle

Strangers living worlds apart.
Strangers with nothing in common.

But it wasn’t always that way…

Kerry Hayes is single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a young child, Noah never looks back.

When Kerry contacts Noah, the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will change both of their lives forever.

By turns funny and moving, Half a World Away is a story that will stay with you long after you read its final page.

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.

Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by The Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic’. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and The Man I Think I Know. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

You can find him online at mikegayle.co.uk and on Twitter @mikegayle.

My Review:

Where do I begin with this review? Well firstly, I listened to it on Audible and the narrators Kayi Ushe and Joanna Brookes were absolutely incredible and I could see them quite clearly in my mind and to me Kerry was a very young Kathy Burke and Noah a young Adrian Lester!

Now in her early 40’s Kerry is a single mum to a young son, living on a rough estate, she has her own small business cleaning the houses of the rich and entitled. Having been put into the care system at a young age and separated from her younger brother Jason when he was 18 months old, she has spent her life determined to provide for her own child and give him the stability and direction she never had.

Meanwhile over in an affluent part of London, Noah is a successful barrister with a wife and daughter he adores. Knowing he was adopted, he has always accepted this with no desire to look into where he came from and trace his birth mother. His refusal to accept his past is causing marital problems and when he receives a letter from someone claiming to be his sister his life is turned upside down.

This is a wonderful book about family, unconditional love and hope. It is joyful, tearful, emotional, moving and heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measures. I made the mistake of listening to the book whilst shopping in Tesco’s and started sobbing in the pasta aisle!

This is the first book I have ever read or listened to by Mike Gayle and immediately upon finishing it I used up my Audible credits and bought The Man I Think I Know and All The Lonely People.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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