ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Split by Laura Kay

I’m sharing my thoughts about The Split by Laura Kay today. This book is just brilliant. My thanks to Milly Reid from Quercus for sending me a proof copy for review purposes.



A brilliant, heart-warming and intensely funny story of love, heartache, friendship and family. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Beth O’Leary.

Brutally dumped by her girlfriend, Ally is homeless, friendless and jobless… but at least she has Malcolm. Wounded and betrayed, Ally has made off with the one thing she thinks might soothe the pain: Emily’s cat.

After a long train journey she arrives home to her dad in Sheffield, ready to fold herself up in her duvet and remain on the sofa for the foreseeable. Her dad has other ideas. A phone call later, and Ally is reunited with her first ever beard and friend of old, Jeremy. He too is broken-hearted and living at home again.

In an inspired effort to hold each other up, the pair decide to sign up for the local half marathon in a bid to impress their exes with their commitment and athleticism.

Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills… or will their ridiculous plan pay off…?



Oh my goodness, I loved The Split so much. I raced through it (a bit of a pun as you’ll see in a moment) and I just didn’t want to put it down. It’s a brilliant debut from Laura Kay.

The book begins with Ally being unceremoniously dumped by her girlfriend of seven years, Emily. Whilst fleeing from London back home to her dad’s in Sheffield, she manages to pop their shared cat, Malcolm, in a cat carrier and take him with her, something Emily isn’t very pleased about. Once she’s back home her dad suggests she meet up with her old friend, Jeremy, who she hasn’t seen for some years. Jeremy is also nursing a broken heart and they become really great friends again.

I absolutely loved the dynamics between Ally and Jeremy. They egg each other on and have a lot of fun together, whilst putting back together their shattered lives. There are actually so many gorgeous friendships and family relationships in this book and each and every character is written with such warmth. I felt like I knew them all, they all seemed to pop off the page. Ally’s dad was a particular favourite of mine and I thought it was lovely how he just adjusted to her being back after so long, especially with a cat in tow. I had a real soft spot too for his dog, Pat, and Malcolm, of course! Even the animals were portrayed beautifully.

Ally and Jeremy decide to run a half-marathon, mainly because Jeremy thinks he’s seen his ex, Ben, doing some running locally. The running scenes had me in stitches. This is a true laugh-out-loud book. Laura Kay’s humour just completely hit the spot with me. Another thing that I loved about this book was that it’s set in Sheffield, my home city, and so it was lovely to see local streets and landmarks being referred to. I could just imagine our hapless pair struggling up and down the hilly city in their running gear.

I truly thought this book was just brilliant. It’s been a pleasure to read it. It’s full of heart, focusing on friendships, family, and getting up and putting your running shoes on when all you want to do is veg on the settee feeling sorry for yourself. It’s fresh, funny, foodie, and feel-good, and I loved it!



Laura Kay is a writer and editor. She has an MA in American History from the University of Sheffield and now lives in East London with her wife and cats. In 2018 Laura was selected as one of the ten PRH WriteNow mentees.

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