Cover Image: The Sight of You

The Sight of You

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Holly Miller stuns in The Sight of You, a devastatingly beautiful debut that ponders a lifelong question through the seamless transitions of Callie and Joel, two 30-somethings adrift in a sea of loneliness, each waiting for the day fate would bring them together in a quaint coffee shop born from the shards of broken dreams.

When the former vet turned dog walker happens upon a small café, he never imagined that he would meet the love of his life in Callie, a natural-born dreamer with a heart of gold. Soft-spoken and warm, Joel and Callie orbit one another, both afraid to make a bold move despite the fact that Joel returns each day to order an espresso, if only to see Callie for a moment, drawn to her love of nature, soft smile and passionate personality.

 Really, I remind myself, we hardly know each other – just well enough for smiles and passed remarks, like stars from companion galaxies exchanging winks across swathes of limitless sky.

    – excerpt from Holly Miller’s The Sight of You

Fleeting what-ifs scatter waves of doubt, sending Joel head-first into a love so pure it shatters his heart – a fragile thing in and of itself due to the nature of his dreams: prophetic visions about loved ones that have plagued him since childhood. Though the good far outweighs the bad or even the mundane, Joel has sworn off love (and sleep) to protect himself, his heart-guarded and locked-tight except when in Callie’s presence, which proves to be an inexplicable balm to his soul.

Steeped with longing, Miller’s poetic prose soothes, lulling the reader into a false sense of security in a series of short, bite-sized chapters, weeks flying by in a matter of pages, mundane day-to-day activities bringing Callie and Joel one step closer to a relationship as shy smiles and passing conversation turn into notes of encouragement, brief outings, and eventually, chaste parting kisses. Nights on the town and friendly invitations turn into celebratory dates and shared meals, sparking the beginning of a heart-breaking romance, bittersweet in the sheer revelation that it is doomed from the beginning despite Callie’s acceptance of who Joel is inside and out – a broken dreamer, too worried about the future to live in the present.

Sweet nothings, thoughtful actions and nights spent in one another’s company dull the ache of the future – the promise of love hanging in the air even as they skate past one another, doubts and fears pulling them apart, even as they pine for one another.

Devastatingly beautiful, Miller exceeds expectations, pairing romance with a heart-wrenchingly complex thought exercise: What would you do if your days were numbered? Could you fathom being with the one you loved, knowing they had a definite amount of time left on earth? For Joel, life and death are a matter of importance when it comes to love, each day a nightmare waiting to happen.

Separated into well-thought-out parts and interspersed with tear-jerking letters, The Sight of You traverses the fragile bond that is love, wherein the thrill of falling in love outweighs the agony of separation, for true love never really dies. Instead, it lives on in the memories and objects we hold dear: “A bittersweet medley of our time together, short as it was. A story only half told.”

Poignant and hopeful, Miller stuns in a remarkable debut that will leave you breathless for more.
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I was totally engrossed in this book from the beginning.  This is a moving story about love and sacrifice.  Callie and Joel are characters that will stay with you long after you read this. 

This is listed as book 1 of the series but I am not sure what the second book will cover as this one had a pretty finite ending.
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The Sight of You 
By Holly Miller

I love having a good cry after reading a beautifully written book and Holly Miller did just that in this beautiful story of love in this compulsive read I enjoyed to the fullest. The story was amazing I found it to be so original and fascinating. I fell in love with the characters Callie and Joel - my heart is still wrenching and I am still tearful writing this review. I recommend this book for those who love an extraordinary romance story.
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This book was achingly beautiful and surprisingly realistic, considering the premise.  Both main characters are lovely and the secondary characters are well developed and important to the story.  You find yourself really hoping for their happy ending.  The story carefully deals with the difficult subject of facing one's own mortality and does it in a very thoughtful way.  I shed many tears throughout -- this one is a great suggestion for Nicholas Sparks fans.
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The Sight of You tells the tragic love story of Joel and Callie. Joel is psychic and has dreams about the people he loves. Some of the dreams tell him wonderful things and some of the dreams tell him terrible things. Joel lives a very isolated life because he can't bear to add loved ones to his list. He did a good job, until he meets Callie and falls head over heels. This was such a captivating story that pulled me in at the start.
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what an absolutely stunning debut novel. Love permeates each and every page of this story. Not a hot and heavy, lustful attraction.. but a beautiful and devastating kind of love that leaves you in tears when the story ends. ⁣
The story is told from Joel and Callie’s perspective. I loved each character so much. They were both their own, complete person and were magic when they are together. I enjoyed being a part of their journey and didn’t want the story to end. ⁣
I absolutely loved this book - even the parts that were hard and not how I wanted them to be. This is a romance I would recommend to die-hard romance lovers as well as those who don’t normally lean towards the romance genre. ⁣
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The Sight of You sets up an emotional and beautiful love story with an unexpected premise unlike anything I’ve read before. One of the two main characters, Joel, has a peculiar ailment: he dreams about the futures of the people he loves. Although these are often wonderful and positive dreams, the ones that are sinister haunt him at all times of day. Plagued by the knowledge of what will happen to the people he is closest to, Joel tries to sleep as little as possible, and distances himself from close relationships. The emotional weight of this book reminded me of Me Before You. When Callie meets Joel, she is instantly attracted to him. I really appreciated seeing her side of the narrative as she struggles to understand Joel’s actions and reactions.

The narrative is split between the two of them in a heartbreaking depiction of two people who want, above all else, to be together, but who struggle to justify the pain and weight that their relationship carries. The way that their relationship affects each of them is really wonderfully depicted. The novel shows how being together helped each of them become better versions of themselves: pursuing passions, travels, and experiences spurred by conversations they shared. The positive impacts they have on each other makes the arc of the story especially heart-wrenching.

The chapters are also interspersed with letters from Callie in the future, giving the reader some insight as to how her life has unfolded. These made me whip through the book, trying to understand the actions that led to her writing each letter. This book definitely sits heavy on the heart, but the beauty of Miller’s writing and uniquely descriptive prose makes it a truly enjoyable read.

Review posted on June 23, 2020:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CByjnwhA4df/
https://treatyourshelf.home.blog/2020/06/23/the-sight-of-you-by-holly-miller-book-review/
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Joel is okay with living a solitary life.  It’s the only way that he can keep others from finding out about his strange ability.

He can see the future of his loved ones in his dreams.  Sometimes, it’s as simple knowing when they will get stuck in traffic.  Other times, it’s a matter of life and death.  He’s always been able to keep everyone at arm’s length.  Until he meets the beautiful girl at the neighborhood café.

 “Because here’s the thing: almost my whole life, I’ve been having prophetic dreams.  The kind of lucid, lifelike visions that startle me from sleep.  They show me what’s going to happen, days, weeks, years down the line.  And the subjects, always, are the people I love.
The dreams come every week or so, the ratio of good to bad to neutral fairly even.  But it’s the dark premonitions I fear most: the accidents and illnesses, pain and misfortune.  They’re why I’m constantly edgy, always on high alert.  Wondering when I might next have to reroute the course of fate, race to intervene in someone’s best-laid plans.
Or, worse, save a life.”

Callie longs to travel to places and to experience things that she’s only been able to read about in books.  She’s been biding her time working at a café.  But after getting to know Joel, she’s found the courage to finally apply for the job she’s always wanted – one that feeds her desire to be close to nature.  He also feeds her desire for something far more.

Every day, their bond grows stronger and life couldn’t be more perfect.  And then the dreams return.

Joel knows what he must do.  He’s going to sacrifice his own heart because it means that Callie will learn to spread her wings and fly.

  “That night in bed my hands find him, desperate to stop us spiraling off onto opposite flight paths.  His mouth is on mine straightaway, fierce and tender all at once.  But it’s a sad sort of tenderness, the kind you see in black-and-white films.  Like we’re kissing through the open window of a steam train, just before the whistle blows.”

In The Sight of You, Holly Miller dazzles with a writing style so lush that readers will be able to smell the English rain and experience the soul deep longing of her characters.  Even still, she weaves a tender thread of hope through every chapter and I found myself holding on to it tightly all the way to the end.
 
It begins with a whisper of loneliness and builds to a heartbreaking crescendo.  And I cherished all the tears…
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The Sight of You by Holly Miller has a unique premise and hook, but Miller manages to make the novel about more than just Joel's dreams. The characters experience grief, career changes, love, marriage, family drama, child-rearing; the story isn't reduced to just Joel's gift/curse. The story is thought-provoking and sweet!
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When you google The Sight of You, it comes up with the subheading ‘The Love Story of 2020’ a grandiose statement about a book that is the opposite of grandiose in the most lovely way. The Sight of You is very tender, and there’s a sense of humility in it and in its main characters, that makes you imagine if the book were ‘alive’ it would demur about the marketing scheme. If you’re the sort of person who finishes the sentence ‘Love Is ___’ with the word ‘Kind’, you’ll really appreciate this book.

Joel is a former veterinarian living in somewhere in England (I guess they put Big Ben and London on the cover to tell US readers THIS IS A BRITISH BOOK, but it’s not set in the capital), where he walks dogs and avoids loving more people than he already does. He has “prophetic” dreams about people and their fates, large and small – when and where their kids become talented swimmers, when and where they die – but only about people he loves. And he can change things, to a degree. He’s essentially an anonymous tipper on a grand scale, forever watching over those he loves, and then letting them know just enough to keep them moving towards happiness or away from harm. Then he meets Callie, a waitress/manager of a local coffee shop, and they fall in love. The marketing campaign is spoiler central, so here’s the thing: Joel dreams Callie dies and they have to decide as a couple how to use that information.

Callie’s great love is nature and her attachment to a local nature reserve is an important part of the story. I couldn’t help thinking that she is a living embodiment of a nature reserve. She’s someone who is quiet, delicate, and lovely; in every way worth tending to with care. Joel reminded me of Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife. At the start, he’s very unhappy and has coped with his life with a certain amount of self-abuse – alcohol, sleep deprivation, social isolation. I was worried at the start that this book would be ‘a downer’ rather than just sad – Callie is in a rut of her own, too, at the start, due to grief at a recent loss, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

One particular thing I found satisfying about this book was that Great Love didn’t excuse Bad Behavior. In stories I have encountered before with this kind of premise, the main characters have used their love/grief to excuse adultery and general mistreatment of secondary characters, who then get painted as ‘sort of shitty anyway’ so that the reader conveniently doesn’t have to feel bad that they’re getting screwed over. Miller doesn’t peddle that absurdity. Everyone in this book is imperfect, but they’re treated with mercy.

The story is told in four parts, in alternating first-person by Callie and Joel, and the chapters are only a few quick pages each. Even though The Sight of You is not genre romance because of its conclusion, it feels like a romance for the first seventy five percent because it focuses on the main characters and their love equally. Only when it shifts more to Callie in the final section, which is full of time jumps and plot developments related to big events in her life, does it feel like women’s fiction. The ending honors the story it concludes – I’d go so far as to say it makes the book. Writing this, I recall I wasn’t overly impressed by the beginning, irritated by the prospect of ‘another-British-waitress-with-unattended-dreams-heroine’– but the ending left me in such a state of contented heartache, that I’m inclined to overlook it. It’s such a whole book ‘as is’ that the fact that a 2021 sequel has already been announced makes me anxious, though I can see easily how a sequel might be seen as natural (I imagine a second book in the vein of the Me Before You series).

Never maudlin or manipulative, The Sight of You touched me so much that I started crying while attempting to explain it to someone.

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Thank you to Putnam Books and NetGalley for the digital advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

What would you do if you dreamed about the person you love's death?

Joel Morgan dreams about things happening to the ones he loves--from trivial events to tragic. He keeps himself tucked away in his flat to avoid people. He tried to avoid sleep so he won't dream, which makes him twitchy and stressed.
Until he meets Callie. He tries to stay away from her, but when she moves into the adjoining flat, there is no way to do that. He tries not to love her, but it is pointless. Even if he doesn't say it out loud, the feeling is still there.
The inevitable happens--one night, Joel dreams about Callie's death.

This is an interesting read with such an emotional concept. I enjoyed getting both Joel and Callie's POV. Joel was a good man--wrecked by years of these dreams/premonitions and not telling anyone. But, he tells Callie about his dreams in hopes that it will be different. This is a heartbreaking and emotional read--touching until the very end.
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3 stars for a great, tug at your heartstrings debut!

A very emotional story that asks an interesting question. How would you live your life if you knew what would happen to your loved ones?

Joel and Callie are strangers who have a meet cute in a local coffee shop where Callie works. Joel is an empty human being who is blessed with the curse of being able to see the future of his loved ones. He has struggled his entire adult life with how to cope with this "gift". He has sworn off any real romantic connection because the other person only gets hurt loving someone who cannot give their full selves in return. Callie has her own share of heartbreak and is a person who lives a very safe life. She puts others before herself and doesn't do enough to break free and live out her own dreams. When Joel and Callie meet and fall in love, the reader is treated to a twist on the typical romance story and the ending is what really elevates this book the most.

I can definitely see why this book was marketed to fans of The Light We Lost and that was a smart play. While I enjoyed this book, it was predictable (particularly in the middle), but there are many strengths within its pages. The last part of the book worked most for me. I don't want to reveal too much so I will hide my thoughts in a spoiler.

[If you read the signs, you know Joel and Callie will not be in a relationship for a long time. Having the author explore both character's lives after the breakup was brilliant. Particularly, how they met up again at the end of Callie's life. That was very touching and I felt my eyes misting as I read it.]

Overall, if you're looking for a contemplative read and you're a romance fan, this would be a great pick for you. I really want to thank Putnam Books and Holly Miller for sending me an early copy to read and provide an honest review of.

Review Date: 06/05/2020
Publication Date: 06/09/2020
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This was a slow burning romance with great characters. I really enjoyed this story and seeing the two characters come together.
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This unique and heartfelt romance is a recommended first purchase for adult fiction collections, particularly where romance and women's fic is popular.
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Holy Kleenex alert! The Sight of You is the upcoming and debut novel by author Holly Miller. It is such a tear-jerker, but bear with me, it’s so worth it. Joel has lived his thirty-some years with a secret. In his dreams, he has premonitions about things to come for those that he loves. Sometimes they are wonderful things and other times they are sad things, but it only happens in regards to those that he loves. Due to the weight of his dreams and after previous failed relationships, Joel has resigned himself to a life without a significant other – until he meets Callie. After the loss of her closest friend Grace, Callie takes over Grace’s coffee shop and her dog, Murphy. Although she’s always longed for a career involving nature and animals, Callie feels a loyalty to her late friend tying her to staying at the cafe. When Callie and Joel meet, it’s as if they are both waking from a deep sleep. They’re suddenly excited about life, making plans, and falling in love. But when Joel has a heartbreaking dream about Callie’s future, he isn’t sure how they can go on together.  

So, the age-old question: if you knew how/when/where/why a relationship would end, would you still pursue it? 

Joel and Callie’s love story is such an amazing one and Holly Miller’s writing is impeccable in its ability to bring their feelings to life. I felt like I could truly feel the emotion between these characters, during both the happy and the sad times. Joel has suffered guilt throughout his life for premonitions about loved ones that he either did not or could not prevent, so when he has a dream about Callie (thus realizing that he truly loves her), he struggles about what to do what his new-found knowledge. Callie is intrigued by and begins to trust Joel’s dreaming premonitions once he tells her the truth about himself. But when she finds out that he had a dream about her, she doesn’t think she wants any information. 

Which brings up another question: could you stay in a relationship knowing the ending, if the other person refused to hear the information?

As I stated before, have the Kleenex by your side before you start this book. It is romantic, emotional, happy, and sad all at one time. I can’t begin to count and/or name all of the different emotions I felt while reading this. I will say that overall, I felt the beginning was a bit sluggish, however, once everything picked up, I was completely hooked. I fell in love with all of the characters and wanted nothing but good things for each and every character. I won’t lie and say this is the most feel-good novel I’ve read this year. However, I can’t remember the last time I read a book that conveyed so much love. The Sight of You is an outstanding debut and I cannot wait to read what Holly Miller brings us next!

*Thanks to NetGalley & G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!
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If NetGalley gave readers the ability to give 2.5 stars, that's what I'd give to Holly Miller's The Sight of You. Readers really get to know Callie and Joel, their struggles together and independently, their goals, and their desires for the future. However, the first hundred and fifty pages are paced incredibly slowly. Normally, I'm a fairly patient reader and I'm glad I finished this novel, but in the novel's current state, I wouldn't recommend it.
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This was a sweet love story. It was so sad throughout though and I was really rooting for the characters. All of the missed opportunities and miscommunications left me feeling a lot of angst. It was an interesting perspective and I appreciate how the author wove the story. I was completely invested in the characters and was cheering for them throughout. At times the plot moves lightning quick, other times it crawled along. I wish the last third of the book had been slowed down a bit to really get their viewpoints across. Overall, a beautiful love story with likable characters. 3.5 ⭐️ My thanks to the publisher for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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Gosh I loved this book! It’s definitely got some sadness in it, but it is a beautiful love story. I sometimes don’t like multiple narrators, but the author does a great job with the two narrators in this book. Highly recommended!
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Picture this: You've met the love of your life. Only he holds a bitter secret. When he dreams at night, he dreams of those he cares for most, and whatever transpires in those dreams becomes fact. Would you stay with that person knowing they've had a dream about you regarding your fate? Or would you leave?

The plot was so unique! I couldn't help but turn the pages, desperate to find out what will become of Joel and Callie. I loved their relationship. And then to find out about Joel and his dreams!!! UUGGHH!! 

I have mentioned this before.. I'm not really a romance type of reader.. but I devoured this book. It was special and unique and impossibly memorable. Don't NOT read this just because "You Don't Do Romance". I implore you to give THE SIGHT OF YOU a try! You'll be hooked!
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This was a sweet, tender, and unique love story that shows sometimes the best way to love someone is to let them go. The story started out a bit slow, but after the first 25% or so, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. This could be more about my own distraction in this stressful time, but I had a hard time keeping up with all of the minor characters. There's also quite a bit of British slang/phrasing that isn't really accessible for an American audience. Ultimately though, I enjoyed it and I'd recommend it!! Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for early access to The Sight of You!
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