I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the simply gorgeous All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle. Thank you to Jenny Platt and Hodder Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
About the book:
Hubert Bird is not alone in being alone.
He just needs to realise it.
In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship and fulfilment.
But Hubert Bird is lying.
The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul.
Until, that is, he receives some good news – good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on.
Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .
Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?
From bestselling author Mike Gayle, All the Lonely People is by turns a funny and moving meditation on love, race, old age and friendship that will not only charm and uplift, but also remind you of the power of ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference.
About the author:
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He 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’. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and The Man I Think I Know. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.
You can find him online at mikegayle.co.uk and on Twitter @mikegayle.
All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle is a simply gorgeous read that will stay with me for a long time to come. Moving, at times funny, and tackling themes of racism, old age, love and friendship, this is a book that tells the story of ordinary lives and the extraordinary people who inhabit them.
Hubert Bird has been living a lonely, isolated life, but in his weekly telephone calls to his daughter who lives in Australia, he has been painting a picture perfect retirement packed with fun, friendship and fulfilment. But now Rose is coming home and Hubert realises he must make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. But in doing so Hubert will make new connections, revisit old ones and change his life in ways an eighty four year old man would never have thought possible.
The story alternates between then and now, with the first timeline following Hubert’s life from when he arrived in England from Jamaica as an eager young man who is hoping to make a new and better life for himself. From his marriage to Joyce, to having children, to the ups and downs, highs and lows of life in a country not always as welcoming as it should have been, I found myself instantly drawn in to Hubert’s life. I was horrified but sadly not surprised at the way he and his family were treated by some people, but then the kindness of others warmed my heart.
In the second timeline we are brought up to date with what is going on in Hubert’s life in the present. At eighty four, he is lonely after losing his wife thirteen years previously, with an as yet unknown event several years ago causing him to turn his back on the world and live a life of isolation. But now with Rose coming home, Hubert knows he must return to the land of the living and embrace everything life has to offer.
I have to admit I fell in love with Hubert from the very first page. In my opinion, everyone should have a Hubert in their lives, this bright, funny, sometimes cantankerous old man who captures the hearts of the varied and colourful characters who cross his path as he searches for his new beginning.
All The Lonely People is a pure delight from beginning to end. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It will at times break your heart, but will also make it soar higher than the sky. Mike Gayle’s writing is so beautiful and full of heart, taking you on a simply unforgettable journey that will stay with you long after the final page has been turned. A very real and human story, with a protagonist who you can’t help but fall in love with, I honestly felt bereft as I turned the final page.
What can I say? I absolutely adored this book! Easily one of my favourite read of the year. Pure perfection from beginning to end.
All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
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