Opening the front door to book post from the postman is my absolute favourite thing to do. Opening the front door to UNEXPECTED book post is even better. I was treated to a copy of Miss You by Kate Eberlen, all packaged up and delivered to my door on publication day by Mantle at Pan Macmillan and I absolutely loved falling in love with Gus and Tess and their delightful tale. The cover claims that lovers of One Day by David Nicholls will find themselves equally pleased and I commend the comparison. I loved One Day and I loved Miss You. Arguably, equally as much. Here’s why…
Miss You takes the love story behind One Day- boy and girl meet, boy and girl fall in love but are kept apart by fate and other tragic circumstances- and twists it completely on its side. Boy and girl meet- albeit incredibly briefly- and then, for the rest of the tale, live their lives separately, neither of the two aware that their meeting one another properly has been stopped by some greater force. Gus and Tess meet briefly whilst holidaying, separately, in Italy when they are teenagers. Their conversation lasts all of seconds, and neither of them thinks much of the other. Over the course of the next 16 years – the duration of the novel- the two characters continue to brush past one another without officially ‘meeting’ one another properly.
Each of the two characters falls in love, has life experiences, suffers loss, completely independently of the other. We follow Tess as she loses her mother to cancer and puts her plans to go to university to one side to take care of her younger sibling, contrasting with Gus who attends medical school to please his parents who are still mourning the son they lost to a skiing accident. We see Gus marry and have children. We watch as Tess’s relationship with her sister unfolds. Two separate stories which you find yourself willing to come together as one. Of course, the two characters DO eventually meet one another, but I’ll leave it to you to discover how and when, and what comes of this inevitable meeting.
I absolutely LOVED this story. I hadn’t heard much about it prior to receiving my copy of the book so I went into it with absolutely no expectations at all. I devoured every page, feeling all sorts of emotions for the characters. I loved both Gus and Tess’s chapters equally, which is quite unusual for me. I normally find myself more attached to a single character, so to speed through both character’s chapters with no qualms is indeed quite rare. I saw a little old lady reading this on the bus and was quick to let her know just how good the story is (she was enjoying it a lot) and I’ll definitely be passing my copy on to my mum at the next possibility. I’m really, really excited to see what Kate Eberlen comes up with next. A writer to keep an eye on, for sure.