Review: The Other Us by Fiona Harper

Challenge criteria: A book with an eccentric character

(Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, HQ Stories, in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of the book, nor the outcome of this review.)

Blurb:

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?

What I liked:

This book is very cleverly written, and it’s a concept I admit I’ve never seen in a book before. It’s got a touch of Freaky Friday about it, but it’s a lovely and light story perfect for your holidays. It’s a very intriguing concept, and one I’ve been very interested in throughout my life.

I loved the lesson that not matter what happens in life, life will never be exactly perfect.

What I didn’t like:

This book is littered with clichés, which does make it a little eye-roll inducing at times.

It was often confusing when the narrative switched from present to past, and often you will have to concentrate and think again as to which Maggie is speaking. It jumps from timeline to timeline with very little indication as to when we’re looking at.

With every incarnation, you had to wonder why Maggie and Becca were still friends, and why Maggie kept seeking her company out. There were some times I really wondered why they would still even speak.

I thought, too, that returning to Maggie’s past was quite apt, because there were times she was 40 going on 14.

Out of five:

Three and a half. It’s a fantastic story, but I did have some hurdles with it.

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