Cover Image: The Ends of the Earth

The Ends of the Earth

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Member Reviews

This author knows how to write an emotional read that pulls on your heartstrings and this was no different. It was written beautifully and dealt with some important topics in a very sensitive way
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Abbie Greaves is going to get a reputation for writing about mid- life. All that regret, experience and reflection, coupled with a desire to make something of what’s left of their lives. Nearing fifty myself, I can understand this taking stock and editing out what no longer serves. However, in the case of Mary, she has taken stock and decided to firmly devote herself to the past. We meet Mary in her quest to find Jim, which involves standing outside Ealing Broadway station with a homemade placard that reads ‘Come Home Jim’. This could be dismissed, certainly for those who don’t pass that way very often, but for daily commuters she’s a familiar site because Mary has been standing here with this same sign for seven years. Every day, after completing her shift at the supermarket, she stands vigil at this very spot until it’s time to go to bed. She hasn’t missed a day. The author then takes us back in time, to a younger Mary working as an events organiser in Belfast, when she meets a doctor called Jim. They have a whirlwind romance and they are so good together, it’s difficult to imagine what it is that tears them apart in the future. From here we go back to 2018, but keep popping back into the past to learn a little more about the pair and their relationship. Meanwhile. in 2018, Mary is noticed and posted on social media, with her quest going viral. This is going to change everything. 

A journalist called Alice picks up the story and is touched by Mary’s vigil, Kit works at a charity called Nightline, where Mary sometimes volunteers. Nightline provides a listening ear for those in a crisis with their mental health and Mary is one of their Nightshift volunteers, although she does find the work difficult, especially when a callers story mimics her own. Kit and Alice agree to help Mary and this pairing is delightful as they bring a touch of humour to the novel, despite it’s heartfelt subject. The limits come in the main two characters, both of which only seem to exist in relations to one another. We get the sense of the ‘specialness’ of Mary because we see her through Jim’s eyes and with the knowledge of his love for her - I’d didn’t feel I’d got to know her in the her own right. Jim had less presence than her. I don’t know whether this was deliberate on the author’s part - possibly she was trying to show us that although two people appear quite steady and ordinary, they can seem extraordinary to those looking at them with love. Like her first novel this was emotionally intelligent and while it was an interesting idea I didn’t seem to fully engage with it,
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Abbie never fails to make me cry, always in a good way of course. I requested this after reading and loving The Silent Treatment, and enjoyed this one just as much!

This book spoke to me on so many levels, and the subject matter of living with crippling depression was handled beautifully.
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A truly heartbreaking story highlighting the effect love can have on us, especially when it is lost. Tissues are needed for this one.
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Mary stands outside Ealing Broadway station, holding a handwritten sign. She has kept the vigil for seven years in the hope her boyfriend, Jim, will walk back into her life.

Alice works for a newspaper but her job is on the line. She comes by chance into Mary's orbit and becomes invested in her story, deciding to track Jim down whatever it takes. This brings her into contact with the telephone nightline that Mary volunteers for with Ted, Olive, and Kit.

As Alice pursues her story, it becomes less about saving her job and more about finding out why a person disappears. Alice's father disappeared when she was growing up and she still struggles to accept that he won't return to her life. With Kit's help, Alice manages to find the answers both she and Mary need to move forward.

This is a complex story, not least because of the way it chronicles mental health. Jim struggles profoundly with his and Mary is determined to stick with him, whatever it takes. But Mary's love, in the end, is not enough. Whether Jim deserves Mary is not the issue here but whether Mary can find it in herself to accept a future without him in it.

I loved Alice's persistence, her desire to find the truth about Jim, and the dawning realisation that her search was as much about her as it was Mary. Abbie Greaves is sympathetic at drawing out the various strands of the characters, nearly all of whom have personal issues that they are not facing up to. The end is affirmative and feels right in the context of what has gone before.

This was a good and thought-provoking book and I look forward to reading more by Abbie Greaves.

I was sent an advance review copy of this book by Random House UK, Cornerstone, in return for an honest appraisal.
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What a gorgeous, warm and beautifully written novel. This is the first novel I've read by Abbie Greaves and I'll definitely be reading her debut The Silent Treatment next. The Ends of the Earth tells the story of Mary who volunteers at The Nightline volunteer helpline and keeps a vigil for her partner Jim at Ealing Broadway station with a sign that says 'Come Home Jim'. The novel switches between time frames and we discover how Mary and Jim meet and I became immersed in Mary's search for him. The novel compassionately and with real empathy encompasses love, loss and depression. Greaves characters are beautifully drawn, I loved the friendships in the novel and was really drawn into the characters lives. Recommended.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.
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The Ends of the Earth is a complex (but easy to read novel) focussing on many themes and dealing with some heart-breaking and complicated issues yet it does so in a poignant and respectful manner.  Despite having some devastating moments, there is an undertone of character determination, love and friendship and the uplifting parts balance out the darker themes.
Overall this is a novel about mental health.  And what is really refreshing is that it mainly focusses on the mental health of male characters, but also, how this impacts everyone around them.  Not once did I judge a character in this book or feel any malice towards any of them.  What I felt was wanting to take care of them all, wanting to hold them, help them seek help and try to make things a little easier than it easier than it was.  Abbie Greaves captures the devastating effects of depression on those who have it, and those who are around it.  She delicately highlights different causes, symptoms and mindsets so beautifully.
Other themes include love and friendship and these are used to develop characters, tell the story of Mary and Jim in the past and present and compliment the plot beautifully.
My favourite character was actually Kit and I would have loved to delve a little deeper into his mind and life.  Mary was determined and courageous, Ted a gentles soul and Alice desperately trying to avoid her past.  Together they made such a wonderful support network for each other.  
Overall, this is a slower paced novel but it’s not one that should be raced through anyway.  It was compelling and compulsive but often required processing and thinking time in order to truly appreciate and attempt to understand the characters and their lives and the deeper themes.
I highly recommend this novel and would love to hear your thoughts if you have/do read it.
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This is a story that's a bit about love and a bit of a mystery. 

Mary has waited for her first love Jim to come home for 7 years. She stands outside a train station every evening with a sign saying 'Come Home Jim'. 

I'll be honest, that had me hooked to read this book straight away. I like my love stories to have a side of sadness and this one certainly had that. 

It also has lovely, heartwarming characters that you just want to hug, and a storyline that is so intriguing you can't help but keep turning the pages. 

Woven into the story are two other characters, Alice and Kit. I loved Kit so much, he was such an adorable character! 

I hope it's not too spoilery to say this book has a lovely focus on mental health from an aspect I feel isn't talked about enough and I think Abbie Greaves brought it to the centre of this story in a very natural and believable way. 

If all the books I read this year are of this quality I'll be very happy!
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The Ends of The Earth is a moving story about loss and love. Topics such as mental health, alcoholism and grief are covered sensitively in Mary and Jim’s story. The stigma and shame of depression is handed carefully and at its core a reminder that it’s never anyone’s fault. 
I really enjoyed Mary’s story although found Jim a little harder to connect with, and some of the secondary characters especially Kit were great additions to the book. As the dual timeline takes us back and forth through the lives of Jim and Mary, we can start to understand the frailties of relationships and in particular the portrayal from the outside of a perfect couple. An emotional read which I’ll be recommending to all.
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I’d like to thank Laura O’Donnell from Penguin Random House for contacting me to take part in this blog tour.

This is the first book by Abbie Greaves that I have read, despite her debut sitting on my bookcase. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I loved the premise and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. This is going to be a hard one to review without giving too much away but I’ll try my best.

The story centres around Mary, who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that her boyfriend Jim is missing. he has been missing for seven years and it appears he literally fell off the face of the earth. Whilst we start the story with Mary and her daily routine of setting up camp at Ealing station, the story does flick back to when she first met Jim. From there the story alternates between Jim and Mary’s early relationship and the present.

When Alice strolled onto the scene I wasn’t sure about her. Being a journalist she certainly had the attitude of someone looking for a story and I wasn’t sure she had Mary’s best interests at heart. Once again when her story started to unravel you could understand her interest and see that despite some questionable choices, she was a lovely person. When her and Kit teamed up for the investigation I was rooting for a romance to develop. The seemed to have great chemistry and worked well together.

I found Jim to be a tough character to warm to. At the start I found him a little too smooth and some of his actions towards Mary made it even harder to like him. It was clear that Mary loved him with all her heart but I wasn’t convinced he felt the same.

What I loved about this story was how it kept me guessing. I had so many questions surrounding Jim and his disappearance but I could never tell where this one was going. Was he dead? Where did he go? Would they find him? If you want to know the answer then I’m afraid you’ll have to read the story!

What I will say is Abbie Greaves does a brilliant job of exploring the stigma that is attached to mental health, particularly male mental health. She explores the stark truth of depression and how it can affect anyone of any age, at any point in their life.

A beautiful story told with delicacy and sensitivity.
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This was beautifully written.
It made me so sad and as someone who has suffered from depression I feel the author was sympathetic and true in how she wrote about it.
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I won’t lie and say this book didn’t make me cry it has me At times in floods of tears.  That to me is the sign of a good story when a book makes me feel that emotional.  I completely and utterly loved this book.
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Oi, the tears! This was lovely, just the right side of intense, and very affecting. You felt for each character in their ways as they were drawn so well.
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This book explored some really tough subjects in a sensitive and insightful way. Despite it’s  quite heavy themes it was a easy read and I was really interested to see how Mary’s story ended and whether Jim did come home. The main characters were complex but likeable with believable backstories and current situations which could be easily invested in. I really enjoyed how the story was split between the past and the characters present in 2018 and the transitions between the two were smooth. The ending was the drawback for me as although it tied up all of the loose ends nicely, it was quite predictable. An important read that tackled male mental health, missing persons and grief.
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This is the first book I have had the pleasure of reading by author Abbie Greaves and I really enjoyed it. I needed to know Mary’s story and waiting to find out kept me hooked in right until the very end. I also thought the other characters like Alice and Kit helped to carry the story along. Very similar in style to Jo Jo Moyes, one of my favourite authors, written in a way that makes you experience all the emotions of the characters. I even had a wee cry at the end.
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Mary's husband Jim vanished unexpectedly. Since then she sits at the train station with a sign, begging him to come home. Junior reporter Alice gets wrapped up in the story and investigates. Part love story, part mystery, this will tug at your heartstrings. There's nothing flashy about the storyline, but as Mary reassesses her relationship with Jim, she grows as a person and rejoins the world.
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A beautifully written book, which is heart-warming and has great characters. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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Heartwarming and very sad at times. But I found it a rather long drawn out plot, and a disappointing ending. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this book.
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Unfortunately never managed to read before the time was up because of family circumstances. 
The cover and synopsis did look interesting. It’s a shame I didn’t get enough time
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Mary has been waiting for Jim at the train station. For 7 years. He was the love of her life but disappeared from her life. But still she waits, every night with her sign, "Come Home Jim". Commuters barely notice her. But then one night a call from the blue pushes Mary to the edge. It's time for her to find out what really happened and where Jim is now.

Touching and poignant, but this isn't a love story. It's a story about love, acceptance and letting go. Not just for Mary but also the great cast of characters that surround and help her. It's also very timely in it's approach to male depression, something that staggeringly still seems to be taboo. This isn't fast paced at all. If you can't invest in a story that takes its time to be told this isn't for you. But if you love good characters and a story that unfurls beautifully but in its own sweet time give this a try. You won't regret it.
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