Today I have the pleasure to welcome you on my tour stop of “Half The World Away” by Cath Staincliffe. This maybe one of the books in 2015 that has opened my mind the most. I hope you enjoy the review and don’t forget to take part in the giveaway!!
Prior to “Half The World Away”, I was not familiar with Cath Staincliffe work. However after this read, I feel the urge to visit her back catalogue, but before I do that, let’s talk about this story which is pretty much every parent’s nightmare.
“Half The World Away” takes you into the life of an average British family, with the particularity of being recomposed, and I choose to highlight this fact as this element plays an integral part in the story.
Meet Jo and Nick, who have two children Finn and Isaac. Jo was previously married to Tom and they have a lovely daughter together Lorelei, which this piece is mainly about.
Shortly after graduating, Lorelei better known as Lori decides to travel and see the world with some friends. After a few stops on her way to China, she decides to extend her stay and settle there while teaching English to willing Chinese natives…but then, Lori disappears. Jo and Tom whose dealings only centred around Lori and became few and far between as Lori grew older are now on their way to China in the hopes to find their daughter.
After turning the last page of the book, I find the answer to the question of liking or not liking the book not a simple one, probably because it is the wrong question. Matters of children disappearances are so heart wrenching, but to have children disappearing abroad adds another layer of emotional anguish to an already very distressing situation.
While reading, I kept thinking, thank God it’s only fiction!!! But then it isn’t!!! The author told the story of so many families around the world and gave us the opportunity to walk in their shoes for one moment. We get to share in their struggle, their helplessness and their dealings with foreign authorities whose main concerns can sometimes be more about preserving their public image in the eye of the people they govern and the international community, than dealing with the task at hand.
This piece was made all the more real as its timeline is filled with very recent events in 2014 such as the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and the kidnapping of the 200 Nigerian girls to name but a few.
This book is an injection of a heavy dose of fictional reality however expertly told as Cath Staincliffe just kept it real all the way. Even when reaching the final denouement whether happy or sad, life went on in a manner that remained true to the characters.
Thanking the team at Constable for providing me with a copy of this novel.
And here’s the tweet for the Giveaway!! (COMPETITION NOW CLOSED!)