2016

On the Other Side – Carrie Hope Fletcher

CHF

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Sphere (14th July 2016)

Book Description:

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty seven- year-old self and the door won’t open. Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow , some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love…

My Review:

I bought this book purely because I follow Carrie, her brother Tom and sister in law Gi on twitter and I love their “Dear…” videos on youtube. I didn’t read anything about the book before I read it and was expecting a fluffy “chic-lit” book, not the “Magic Realism” the book is. But I loved it! I didn’t realise when I started reading it that Evie had passed away, it was only when she meets the character of Lieffe that I realised this.

I really enjoyed this book. I have read some reviews for the book on a well known online shopping website and I can’t believe some people have given it 1 star! I liked that there was no frame of reference for when the book is set. As one reviewer has commented, the language of young Evie with her parents is very 1920’s and the sexism at her workplace is very 1950’s. I don’t agree that no frame of time means the story lacks depth – I feel it gives the story more depth as it challenges you to engage more with the story and put a bit more effort into processing the story, but then what would I know, I only have a degree in English Literature!!

I found the story really moving and loved the idea that you can still make peace with your life once you have passed over, and that it is actually essential that you do this in order to gain your place in heaven.

My favourite chapter was “The Shoebox” – I actually sobbed (while on holiday on a sun lounger) when I read this – I totally styled it out by pretending I had suncream in my eye and the tears were sweet beads…!

If you read this with an open mind, as I believe you should read all books for full enjoyment, then you too will love it.

(I also liked Carrie’s nod to her followers in the start of the book – Hopefuls)

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