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Miss You: A Novel Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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“If ever a couple was ‘meant to be’ it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant and uplifting story of two lives criss-crossing over the years, with near-miss after near-miss...I couldn’t put it down.” (Sophie Kinsella)
“Brilliantly constructed, with wonderful characters you’ll be cheering on, this romantic story is full of poignant moments, has a huge heart and a massive feel-good factor. Engrossing and entertaining.” (Sunday Mirror)
“Debut novelist Eberlen develops two wonderfully distinct storylines, but her characters are carefully connected by proximity and circumstance….Eberlen’s characters are so real and deserving of love—thankfully it’s safe to root for them both, and root for them you will.” (Kirkus)
“Eberlen . . . excels in creating realistic characters whom readers will adore-including Tess’ unusual sister, Hope; Tess’ sassy best friend, Doll; and Gus’ impulsive college pal, Nash. Eberlen also shines at keeping the story moving through 16 years of friendship, purpose, and love. Swoon-worthy.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Eberlen’s marvelous debut novel captivates and immerses. . . . This worthy, wonderful, and witty read is a must-have for all romantics who believe in hope.” (Library Journal)
“Captivating. . . . a compelling story. . . . This episodic, detail-rich narrative breeds suspense as readers grow eager to learn if fate will ever allow these two lost souls—who often feel trapped by the elusive nature of love and happiness—finally to find each other.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Hugely enjoyable romantic comedy with a great premise . . . . Thoroughly deserving comparison with David Nicholls’ One Day (and I don’t say that lightly), this is commercial fiction of the very highest order.” (Alice O'Keeffe, The Bookseller (UK))
“MISS YOU is utterly charming, engaging, moving, a story which is both wonderfully romantic yet also true to life. The perfect summer read.” (Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth)
“I adored this book: it is wildly romantic, heart-achingly sad, warmly funny and really clever. Tess and Gus come from different sides of the social tracks, but share a tragic family history and a serial lack of luck in love. There are numerous points at which they might meet but don’t - and right to the end you’re kept wondering. . . . It’s been widely compared to One Day and deserves to do just as brilliantly.” (Daily Mail (UK))
“An unashamedly romantic novel, but one that also deals with the ongoing and deep-seated effects of grief. Both intricate and engrossing, its real pleasure lies in Eberlen’s assured writing with its level of detail and rich characterization.” (Sunday Express (London))
From the Back Cover
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.
Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.
A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment—the first of many times their paths will cross as their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated as they are by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.
But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .
Top customer reviews
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This is a very engaging book where the readers are cheering for Gus and Tess throughout the book. I think this book would make a great movie and it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed.
Tess and Gus are the two protagonists who cross paths for the first time in Florence, Italy right before they are about to enter college. From this brief encounter, they have near miss meetings over the next sixteen years (1997-2013) until they finally reconnect by chance or fate depending on your belief system. In the in-between-years, life goes on with careers, jobs, relationships, marriages, children and health issues - all the usual aspects of young adulthood.
Where this novel veered off track from its promotional vibe centers on these two characters. Without giving away the storyline, Tess and Gus have both suffered major losses and their unresolved grief and guilt color their perspectives and life choices...often to their detriment. They both tend toward victimhood and I found them not very likeable and a bit one-dimensional emotionally. The rather depressing tone, coupled with the slow pace, made completing the book a challenge. The tempo did pick up toward the conclusion; unfortunately the ending was totally unrealistic for me.
I did enjoy the descriptions of the various European locales and the author does a credible job in her research of both the autism spectrum and the hereditary (genetic) basis for breast cancer.
Based on all of the above, I cannot give a strong recommendation for this book despite all the praise given by my fellow reviewers.
Tess and Gus first meet briefly in Florence as teenagers—she while on holiday with her best friend, Doll and he while on a trip with his parents who are still grieving after losing his older brother in a skiing accident. Over the next several years, both of their lives take them on journeys neither of them saw coming. Serendipitously, they almost meet again several times over many years.
For much of the novel both Tess and Gus struggle with their own identity. After losing his brother (his parent’s favorite son), he doesn’t want to disappoint them and enrolls in university to study medicine, all the while knowing that medicine isn’t the calling of his heart. Meanwhile, Tess’s plans of studying English and writing are scrapped when tragedy strikes her family and she chooses to take care of her little sister.
What this book does well is crafting two likable but flawed characters. Gus and Tess make choices along the way with which the reader may not always agree. But these seemingly poor choices take the characters on paths that bring them close to meeting but never quite do, something that can be tortuously frustrating for the reader. This novel deeply explores the idea of fate and how people come into our lives for a reason. The tension between autonomy, destiny, and fate is something that is perhaps a bit controversial but leaves room for a lot of discussion.
When I read the synopsis over a year ago (prior to the U.K. publication even), I was immediately taken by the whole “missed connection” premise. I’ve read a missed connection type of romance before that didn’t really work because the novel leaned too much on its premise and not enough on character development. I felt like this novel had really great character development, since the two characters are living completely separate lives, but still felt like it suffered from far too many coincidences.
This book is being marketed mostly as a romance. If you read the synopsis, you might think this a romance novel. I think it fits more in the women’s fiction category that it does for romance because the romance between Tess and Gus is so short in page count.
The whole novel builds to the two finally meeting, but the romance part of the novel seemed like an afterthought. Maybe if Tess and Gus had actually had a moment as teenagers to hold on to and carry their love story for nearly 400 more pages it would have worked. But here, the reader is given just a couple passing conversations with no romantic substance (or even the promise of one) and then we go on to learn about these two people separately, who go though similar journeys. When Tess and Gus meet up again, the intense romantic connection we are asked to immediately believe in felt stale and far too rushed.
If I had to rate the book as a romance, I would probably only give it 2 stars. But looking at the novel as a whole and ignoring the frustrating and short-lived love story we were given, I really liked reading about Gus and Tess’s separate lives.
I really enjoyed Anna Acton and Finlay Robertson’s performances. They really brought Tess and Gus’s characters to life. I really enjoyed both of the narrators and would recommend this audiobook.
Since I had both the ebook and the audiobook, I did notice a few discrepancies between the two versions. This book is penned by an English author, so there are some British expressions left in the audiobook that had been changed for the North American version. This wasn’t a big deal but I felt that it was important to point out in case this bothered you.
* Thank you to Harper audio and Harper books for providing me with an early copy for review.
But they do not meet – at least formally. It is a missed connection that lasts for 16 years where Tess and Gus, through the ups and downs of their separate lives, “meet” at different tangents but never connect. I fell in love with them both, crying over their heartbreaks and tragedies. Tess and Gus go through so much that by the time the final chapters come around, where the reader knows they are finally destined to truly meet, they’ve earned it. It is an instant love that isn’t actually – not with all the disappointments and trials both have had to endure to finally get their fairy tale ending.
Most recent customer reviews
Overall I really liked this book.Read more