Friday, April 2, 2021

Anywhere For You - Abbie Greaves

There's something about reading a first chapter and thinking 'I've stumbled onto something really good here..." Well, it didn't take a full chapter to know that I was going to love Abbie Greaves' new novel, Anywhere for You. I was hooked immediately.

Mary O'Connor finishes her shift at the grocery store every day and heads to Ealing Station. There, she stands in the same place day after day, holding up her sign that reads 'Come Home Jim'. She's kept this routine for seven years....

Okay, my curiosity was peaked - I needed to know more about Mary, why is she looking for Jim, who is Jim, where has he gone?  Alice, a young reporter who needs a story to save her job sees the answer to her problems in Mary's story. Maybe she can even find Jim...

Greaves tells Mary's story in alternating chapters from present and past. I love this style of storytelling - it's guaranteed to keep me up late reading one more chapter as we slowly get to know who Jim was and what he meant to Mary. What a brilliant lead Greaves has created. My feelings for Mary ran the gamut - sad, happy, worried and more. All of the other players are just as well portrayed. Alice also has her own chapters and she too has 'baggage' - and a good heart. The supporting cast is made up of Ted, Olive and Kit - all volunteers at the local helpline. (I adored Kit.) And they too are harboring their own heartaches.

The journey to Jim's whereabouts is so very, very good. Greaves' writing is wonderful. I was caught up in the story from start to finish, I genuinely cared about the characters and the message woven into the book is true, timely and more. Anywhere for You is by turns heartbreaking, heartwarming and life affirming.  Definitely recommended. 

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