Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Review & Extract: The Other Us by Fiona Harper

If you could turn back time, would you choose a different life?

Forty-something Maggie is facing some hard truths. Her only child has flown the nest for university and, without her daughter in the house, she’s realising her life, and her marriage to Dan, is more than a little stale.

When she spots an announcement on Facebook about a uni reunion, she can’t help wondering what happened to Jude Hanson. The same night Dan proposed, Jude asked Maggie to run away with him, and she starts to wonder how different her life might have been if she’d broken Dan’s heart and taken Jude up on his offer.

Wondering turns into fantasising, and then one morning fantasising turns into reality. Maggie wakes up and discovers she’s back in 1992 and twenty-one again. Is she brave enough to choose the future she really wants, and if she is, will the grass be any greener on the other side of the fence?

Two men. Two very different possible futures. But is there only once chance at happiness?

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

I'm sure we've all had those 'what if'' moments in our lives when we've wondered what our lives would have been like if we had made a different decision at certain points in our lives, well that is the concept at the heart of this latest book from Fiona Harper.  For forty-something Maggie things have been a little stale lately with husband Dan, and she suspects he is hiding something from her, but little does she realise when going to bed after an argument how her life would change!

What follows is a bit of a 'Sliding Doors' scenario where she continually wakes up in past stages of her life, starting in 1992 just as Dan is about to propose, but her life has taken alternate paths; a life with her ex boyfriend Jude or a life with Dan, albeit a different to the one she had already experienced.

I will admit that at first I found it a little disjointed as there is no timeline at the beginning of the chapters so you didn't know whether the chapter you were about to start reading was set in the present or one of the two alternate past timelines.  But after a while I got used to the jumping around and it didn't really matter as I found myself caught up along with Maggie wondering what on earth was going to happen next.  Would she finally remember all the good times that she and Dan had experienced together or will she find a new happy ever after with Jude?

Having read quite a few of the authors books in the past, this to me seemed something a little different to her previous books I had read and I enjoyed this more thought-provoking read so am interested to see what direction her writing takes next.  

I'd like to thank HQ Stories for my copy of The Other Us which I received via NetGalley.

Also as part of the blog tour I have been given a short extract from The Other Us to share with you which you can read below.
Three days. Two days. One. My brain is counting down to the inevitable. I know it’s coming. Dan’s proposal. Even my extreme bitchiness last week hasn’t seemed to have put him off. If anything, he’s trying harder than ever because of the seed of doubt I’ve planted in his mind. 
When I’m with him it really is like the old days and I don’t have to fake the affection in my smile, but when we part ... well, that’s when the old memories – the ‘forward’ memories – start creeping in. What do I do? 
Up until now I’ve been doing my best to just go with the ow, do what feels good. It was easy when I thought I’d wake up and realise this has all been a vivid dream, but it’s been over two weeks now. I’m also pretty sure this is no waiting room for heaven. 
Which leaves only one possibility: this is real. Somehow, I’ve jumped backwards in time, fully conscious of the life I’ve already lived and I’ve got to do it all over again. I’ve always thought the opportunity to go back and change the things you regret would be a blessing. Now the prospect of it frightens me. 
If I’m staying here I can’t keep messing around. If I’ve really got to do it all again I’ve got to start thinking about the choices I’m making. Making the wrong one tonight could ruin everything. 
I shake my head as I look in the mirror. I’m supposed to be getting ready for a meal out with Dan, but all this mental wrangling is making it a heck of a job to do my mascara. I keep poking myself in the eyeball or blinking before it’s dry and being rewarded with a row of black dots under my lashes and then having to wipe it off and start again. I take a deep breath and will my hand to stay steady. 
Dan’s done a good job of being nonchalant about this date, but I know he’s booked a posh Italian restaurant in Putney and afterwards he’ll suggest a walk along the river and then he’ll take my hands, look me in the eye and my future will be sealed. 
Last time I was so sure what I wanted. 
They say hindsight is twenty-twenty. What they don’t tell you is that it’s crystal sharp and painful. 

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