The Ends of the Earth
by Abbie Greaves
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Pub Date 29 Apr 2021 | Archive Date Not set
Random House UK, Cornerstone, Century
The breathtaking new novel from the author of The Silent Treatment - for fans of Jojo Moyes, Joanna Cannon and Ruth Jones.
Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.
Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’
Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere.
That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?
PRAISE FOR ABBIE GREAVES:
‘A remarkable debut’ JOJO MOYES
‘It’s beautiful, so moving and clever. I truly adored it.’ JOSIE SILVER
‘An original and moving debut from a talented new voice.’ SANTA MONTEFIORE
'This is an extraordinarily tense yet tender portrait of a marriage ... written with assurance and agonising insight, and the characters of Maggie and Frank will stay with me for a long time' Daily Mail
'Beautifully written in Greaves’s unique voice... Poignant, heart-breaking and insightful.' Woman & Home
‘A must read’ Sunday Express
‘Heart-breaking secrets tenderly evoked with intelligence and depth. Maggie and Frank are unforgettable characters’ RACHEL HORE, author of The Memory Garden
'Empathetic, beautifully written ... will resonate with fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls and Gail Honeyman.' Daily Express
'I adored this powerful, heart-breaking tale' The Sun
‘Such stunning prose, and such insight for a debut author… I was bowled over by Abbie’s writing.’ CLARE MACKINTOSH
'A beautifully written and compelling novel that enthralled us from beginning to end. Frank and Maggie feel so real, and their moving story is simple, but powerfully told.' Heat
When a debut is praised by the likes of Jojo Moyes, you know it's worth reading … You won't be able to put down this tender and heartbreaking read.' Cosmopolitan
‘An unforgettable love story with a mystery that had me captivated until the last, heart-wrenching page. It deserves to be huge’ CATHERINE ISAAC, author of You Me Everything
'Greaves’s insightful account of a long marriage kept us gripped till the very last page' Independent
'Beautifully written... Poignant, heart-breaking and insightful.' Woman
'A tender, heartfelt portrayal of a long marriage with all its secrets. Cleverly structured and beautifully written, this novel celebrates love, hope - and the importance of finding the right words.' LUCY DIAMOND
‘In her tremendously moving debut, a novel that pulses with emotional tension, Abbie Greaves masterfully unpicks a history of ordinary lives facing extraordinary challenges. I found it impossible to look away from the relationship at the heart of this novel.’ GILLY MACMILLAN, author of The Nanny
‘I really loved it…It’s a very moving book’ JO WILEY
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 217 members
This is a beautifully written, delicate book which reminded me a lot of "Elinor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine" although with a more gentle feel as befits the subject matter. It is a thoughtful portrayal of life lived with severe depression and the long term impact this has on others whilst also looking at the subject matter of moving on from past issues. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others.
I don’t know how to describe this book beyond the fact that I found it utterly heartbreaking. Why would Mary sit at Ealing station every day for SEVEN years, holding a sign saying ‘come home Jim’? Why did Jim just disappear one day after being in a loving, six year, relationship with Mary? How do you recover from that? Where has Jim gone? Does he want to be found.
Abbie Greaves has written a heartbreaking mystery story about love, depression, missing persons, friendships and the search for the truth. Mary is supported by a group of friends who are equally well written; Ted, the manager of a helpline, Olive, one of the call handlers, Kit, a young banker and Alice, a journalist who is looking for a scoop to save her job. They pull together to try and find out the truth about Jim’s disappearance and in the process, have a journey of self discovery.
A truly fabulous read - you won’t be disappointed. I will be looking out for other books by this author - she’s a new favourite! Keep the tissues handy.
This book is so emotive, I was desperate to find out why Jim left, would he return and what would become of Mary. It’s so desperately heartbreaking and incredibly well written.
A wonderful, heart-warming novel that gracefully touches on some very sensitive subjects. I loved this book and was intrigued from the start about where Jim was and why he left. The cast of characters were expertly written and Kit was my favourite!
Abbie Greaves this was truly a beautiful book! Written with such love and so many feelings. I adored Mary ( a good feisty Irish lady) and so so wanted her to find the peace and happiness she deserved! Thank you for allowing me to read a book I never wanted to put down! And for giving it the ending it so rightfully deserved
I loved this book!
Abbie has a brilliant way of making ordinary life so compelling.
I read The Ends of the Earth from start to finish over a weekend and at times couldn't put it down.
It's a wonderful story - and a beautiful portrayal of living with someone who is struggling with depression too.
I absolutely loved this book! Abbie Greaves has created an engaging mystery, with characters who are easily identifiable with. I liked the way Greaves filled in pieces of the back-story as the book progressed so that her chief protagonist's situation became gradually clearer. The other threads of the story were skilfully woven around the main narrative, so that I found myself desperate to find out what happened to the other characters, too. I had several theories in my head as to how the mystery would be resolved (none of which were correct), but the ending was very satisfying without being twee. Hoping to see more from this author!
We meet Mary whilst standing on Ealing platform with a sign saying 'Come Home Jim', something she has done everyday for the last 7 years. We follow her on her journey to face up to the events that took place 7 years ago and discover her reasons for her train station vigil. The story swaps between time frames including the time Mary and Jim met, the present day, when their relationship started to break down and a few more events in-between.
I loved this book! Everything about it was just brilliant.
The most poignant thing for me was the focus on mental health, and how every single person has their own battles to fight despite seeming okay from the outside. It just felt so real, raw and relevant to real life. So many stories have a fairytale like quality, which whilst sometimes enjoyable, does not portray how most people experience life and it was refreshing to read something so honest. The Ends of the Earth is both heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. The capacity relationships have to influence our lives, both positively and negatively, is a really powerful aspect of the story.
I loved following Mary on her journey of growth and discovery. I liked how it started out with just Mary, but then other characters were introduced as she moved through life. I liked all of the characters and enjoyed seeing how each of their individual character traits influenced their relationships with one another.
It is a 5 out of 5 from me and I would certainly recommend it to others. A story of this nature could end up being quite depressing but the author has done an excellent job of making it real but still really enjoyable.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this electronic advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
Mary’s husband Jim disappeared seven years ago, they had a very loving and happy marriage and his disappearance has greatly affected Mary who has not given up hope that he will return.
Every day for the last seven years Mary goes to Ealing Train Station and stands on the bustling platform with a sign that says “Come Home Jim” hoping he will see it!
We go back to when Jim and Mary meet and had a whirlwind romance, with Mary leaving Wales to be with Jim in London, we trace her path to the present day.
I really felt for Mary who never gave up hope, even when others doubted her. I loved how the past and present timelines emerge together so effortlessly.
A very moving story that covers loss but also incorporates hope and friendship where you would least expect it.
Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
I absolutely loved this book. Abbie Greaves has done it again! I was a huge fan of The Silent Treatment and had high hopes for this and it definitely lives up to my hype!
I couldn’t put this down - the first few chapters are a bit of a slow burn but never enough to even make me consider putting it down. I had to know what had happened between Mary and Jim. On the surface, this seems like an unrequited love story but it is so much more and explores male mental health, grief, love, and loss in Greaves own personal style. At one point I had to stop reading because it was so well written I was feeling exactly what Mary was so I needed a break - you’ll know what I mean if you read this (you should)!
It took me a few days to write this review as like with The Silent Treatment, The Ends of The Earth gave me an emotional hangover. The focus on issues such as grief and male mental health from different perspectives really resonated with me and I think this is an excellent way of understanding male mental health implications without reading a non-fiction/preachy book.
In case you can’t tell I would highly recommend this book.
This is a well-written novel with a great deal of understanding behind it. When you first start to read it, The Ends of the Earth puts you in mind of a Leslie Thomas novel (I have read at least two such) about a middle-aged man running away from home, except that it’s seen from the perspective of the woman left behind. Actually, it isn’t like that at all, but the true character of this novel does not emerge all at once. The truth comes in layers and none of the characters really want to believe it all.
The author ultimately allows love to heal all, but not until the truth is uncovered and faced and ghastly mistakes that might have “justified” lasting animosity or even legal action, are forgiven. And the “happy ending” is nothing like what the reader is expecting or hoping for, for most of the story. The quiet but firm portrayal of forgiveness as a necessity rather than a mere virtue makes this book a very non-trivial love story indeed.
I finished this book in record time as I could not stop reading it. Hours passed in a few minutes. An utterly heartbreaking yet sensitively told tale of depression and how it impacts those around you. The characters were well written and started to feel like my friends. This book will stay in my mind for a long time.
Lovely book, thought provoking and very enjoyable. Really well written and engaging will be recommending to friends and family
Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? Mary could certainly answer that. This is a book of eternal hope, loss and much more. A must read so five stars.
How long will you wait for your loved one? 1 year? 5 years? Mary has been waiting for Jim's return for 7 years, every evening you will find her at Ealing station holding up a sign that says 'Come back Jim', because she is not giving up on their love. Then Alice meets Mary and she knows she needs to help Mary finds Jim. Where is Jim?
This book is the kind of book that will take you on an emotional journey, a journey of loss and hope, of endings and new beginnings. It talks about love, the great love between Jim and Mary, and missing people, however the main topic addressed is depression and how it affect men, who usually chose to not talk about it, as the society still considers this a stigma.
I really enjoyed this book and the story and will be looking for more work by the author
with thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for the arc of this book in exchange for my review
As I begin to set out my thoughts in this review I read the blurb for the book first, as I never like to give anything more away than what is already told in the book description. I see it mentions for fans of JoJo Moyes and though I have only read two of Moyes’ books I know exactly what they mean. It did remind me of Me Before You even though it follows a completely different story line.
The themes running through are of loss, abandonment, depression, especially depression in men. We are all aware now, that men are so much more reluctant to talk of their hidden emotions and feelings of despair. This book highlights so well, and with such heartfelt compassion the effects of keeping feelings buried not just for the sufferer but for their loved ones too.
The narrative slips back and forth in time. Starting out with Mary standing at the station with her placard of “Jim Come Home” she waits there every evening after work, where she has waited for the last 7 years, eternally hopeful that one day Jim will see it and return. She just needs to know he is safe.
Gradually through the chapters that slip back to when Mary and James (Jim) first met, to those early years of the love and passion they both felt for each other, we get to learn what happened with their relationship. Meantime, in the present, we meet Alice. Alice in her early twenties has always wanted to be a journalist, so far she works for the local paper covering trivial stories. After a chance encounter with Mary at the station, Alice wants to know Mary’s story, but there’s more to it than just getting a scoop to try to save her job at the local rag, she recognises that desperate sense of loss in Mary that Alice knows only too well herself.
In spite of the great sadness that pervades the story, there are so many light hearted moments too. Without going into the story too much, Kit, a young city banker is also one of the main characters throughout the book and it is his relationship with Alice that brings a lightness and humour to the narrative.
They are all fantastic characters, each with their own life story to tell. It’s a very emotive book which has caused me to shed a tear or two on more than one occasion whilst reading. I really enjoyed it, and with such a beautiful ending too.
I really loved this book - Abbie Greaves is such a brilliant writer, I have so enjoyed getting to know every key character in this book, and ended it feeling like I really KNEW them. The story was thorough; so observational, honest and told with sensitivity - but with such understanding, and there is a focus on life trials, including the undercurrent of mental health and how that intertwines through so many peoples lives.
Mary has spent every evening for the last 7 years standing at Ealing tube station, holding a sign that says 'Jim Come Home' - we follow Mary's journey from the very beginning when she met Jim, the relationship that followed, and the events that led to Jim disappearing from Mary's life.
I liked how the story flipped regularly between the time frames - from the relationship starting, to the current day where Mary is trying to come to terms with how she is having to live her life without Jim in it.
I will definitely be recommending to this to all!
Huge thanks to Penguin Random House & Abbie Greaves for sending me an advanced copy of the book to read, I am not obligated to review or recommend as a result of receiving this gift, but let me tell you - you won't regret getting your hands on a copy when it is released in April 2021.
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