The Other Us by Fiona Harper
Release Date: 4th May 2017
Buy: Paperback Kindle
What’s the Story?
If you could turn back time, would you choose a different life?
Forty-something Maggie is facing some hard truths. Her only child has flown the nest for university and, without her daughter in the house, she’s realising her life, and her marriage to Dan, is more than a little stale.
When she spots an announcement on Facebook about a uni reunion, she can’t help wondering what happened to Jude Hanson. The same night Dan proposed, Jude asked Maggie to run away with him, and she starts to wonder how different her life might have been if she’d broken Dan’s heart and taken Jude up on his offer.
Wondering turns into fantasising, and then one morning fantasising turns into reality. Maggie wakes up and discovers she’s back in 1992 and twenty-one again. Is she brave enough to choose the future she really wants, and if she is, will the grass be any greener on the other side of the fence?
Two men. Two very different possible futures. But is there only once chance at happiness?
Maggie’s feeling fed-up with life of late. Her only daughter is off to Uni and her marriage to her husband Dan seems to have lost its spark. So when Maggie receives an invite to a Uni reunion along with her best friend, Becca, she is extremely curious. She also can’t help but wonder if Jude will be there…Jude Hanson presented Maggie with some very difficult choices all those years ago…and the Uni reunion forces her to question as to whether the decisions she’s made over the past 20-odd years have been the right ones.
However, when Maggie wakes up to find herself twenty-one again and sharing student accommodation with Becca she finds herself able to take her life on an entirely different path to the one she opted for first time round. But the big question is – does she want to choose a different path, or will the decisions she made when she was twenty one turn out to be the right ones?
I have read and loved many of Fiona Harper’s previous books, so naturally I was really looking forward to getting stuck into The Other Us. However I will also admit that I LOVE books that transport their characters back in time and cause them to question as to whether they made the right decisions in life. It’s a format that I just love, it never gets old for me. I think I’m partly so obsessed with storylines such as this because there isn’t one of us who hasn’t wished they could go back in time at some point of another and make a different decision. Things this like absolutely fascinate me, so it’s no surprise that I gobbled this book up in one greedy sitting.
The concept of the novel that interested me most was how Maggie’s relationships and reactions to people and events were different the second time around. This is because she knew she was in the past, and she also had this insider knowledge of what happens and the way in which people behave in the future, which is both crazy and completely fascinating.
My only worry with novels that follow this concept is that I’ll get confused along the way (a regular occurrence…) however I didn’t once lose track of where the characters were and what time frame we were in. The story was brilliantly constructed and really easy to follow (phew!)
Fiona is a fantastic writer. Her books are so easy to lose yourself in and The Other Us was no different. Her books are funny, uplifting and always have that little something extra to keep your attention firmly within the pages.
The Other Us is an extremely enjoyable, thought-provoking read, based on a fascinating concept and centred around a hugely likeable lead character in Maggie. You might be screaming at the pages during certain points but you will be desperate to discover which path Maggie is going to take the second time round…
A huge thank you to publishers, HQ, for the opportunity to read and review The Other Us.