ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Hello, Stranger by Rachel Marks

Hello, Stranger by Rachel Marks will be published on 18th August by Michael Joseph in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to the publishers for the proof copy, biscuit and other goodies.

From their very first date, Jamie and Lucy know they’ve metΒ THE ONE.

They’re as different as night and day. Jamie’s a home bird, while Lucy’s happiest on holiday. He has a place for everything – she can never find her keys.

Yet, somehow, they make each other happier than they ever thought possible.

So why does their story start with them saying ‘goodbye’?

And does this really have to be the end . . . ?

Rachel Marks has become an author whose books I would pick up without knowing anything about them and in fact, that’s almost what happened with Hello, Stranger as the blurb is fairly vague. All we know as the story begins is that Lucy and Jamie have agreed to split up even though neither of them seems to want to. So why on earth are they doing it?

The story is split mainly into ‘Before’, which forms the majority of the narrative, and ‘The Day of the Break Up’ and we follow the couple from the glorious day they meet until the heartbreaking day they break up. I loved the two main characters who are perfectly portrayed by Marks so that although I may not have always agreed with one or both of them, I still felt empathy for them and I know there was no right answer to what they were facing.

The writing is superb and I just couldn’t put this book down. This is all-consuming love coupled with the realities of everyday life and I really felt for Lucy and Jamie and the dilemma they faced. Marks builds up a life for them that I got completely drawn into and was reluctant to leave, but when it came the ending was emotional and perfect and I think this is a book I will remember, with a storyline that provided a sucker punch to the heart. There are some light-hearted, funny bits too and I loved Jamie’s humour (Jamie is really rather special!). A beautiful tale about the ups and downs of love and life, Hello, Stranger was a joy to read from start to finish.

Rachel Marks studied English at Exeter University before becoming a primary school teacher. Despite always loving to write, it wasn’t until she gained a place on the 2016 Curtis Brown Creative online novel writing course that she started to believe it could be anything more than a much-loved hobby. She lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and their three children.Β Hello StrangerΒ is her third novel.

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