Sunday 21 February 2021

All The Lonely People - Mike Gayle || Netgalley Review


In phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun and friendship.

But Hubert Bird is lying.

Something has made him turn his back on people, and he hardly sees a soul.

So when his daughter announces she's coming to visit, Hubert faces a race against time: to make his real life resemble his fake life before he's found out.

Along the way Hubert renews a cherished friendship, is given a second chance at love and even joins an audacious community scheme. But with the secret of his earlier isolation lurking in the shadows, is he destines to always be one of the lonely people?

My copy came from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

To be fair this read was inspired by the wonderful Miranda Dickinson who mentioned how wonderful this read was and it was at a time i needed it most. It simply was just brilliant.

Hubert Bird is lonely, but his daughter doesn't know that because everytime he speaks to her he has created a vast array of characters that are his friends and tells her tales of fun days out, hilarious relations and so much but this is not true, he simply has a notebook to keep track of what he has told her. However, his life is about to change when his daughter announces she is coming to visit and Hubert reliases instead of coming clean, he must make some friends. Yet - making friends isn't as simple as it seems.

Fate throws people into his path though and along his journey to find real friends similar to fictional friends he makes some charming new ones, has some adventures and looks to renew old friendships but life isn;t that simple and Hubert has more secrets of his own. Told in the past and present we follow his life as it was and as it is and let me tell - you find a space for Hubert in your heart very very quickly.

The last time i read a Mike Gayle book was a long long time ago and i am so frustrated at myself for leaving it this long. This had a wonderful cast of intriguing characters they were all so unique and had such personalities, they were all well rounded and so in depth that as a reader you really got to know them, even the smaller side characters just passing through.

The book was vivid and honest, it was heart warming and heart breaking in equal measure. It tackled some issues that we often don't think about and handled situations in such a realistic way, things were not glossed over instead presented face on to you as a reader for you to acknowledge and understand.

I simply adored this read, i loved getting to know Hubert - he is a character that will stick with you long after you have read the book and have you thinking about his life and friendships. Such a wonderful read.

Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology Mike moved to London with ambitions of becoming a music journalist. This didn't happen however and following a slight detour in his five-year plan he ended up as an agony uncle for teenage girls' magazine Bliss before becoming Features Editor on the now much missed Just Seventeen. Since those early days Mike has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Cosmopolitan.

Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by The Independent as 'Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,' and by The Times as 'A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic.'

To date Mike is the author of twelve novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into over thirty languages.

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