Eleven Lines To Somewhere by Alyson Rudd

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Published: July 23rd, 2020
Publisher: HQ
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Urban Fiction

Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and the gifted eBook ARC.

SYNOPSIS:

In a world of what-ifs, a connection has been made …

When Ryan spots a young woman on the tube on his commute, he can’t take his eyes off her. Instantly attracted and intrigued, he’s keen to find out more about his mysterious fellow passenger.

The woman he thinks of as Millie spends all day travelling the Underground, unable to leave for reasons unbeknownst to Ryan. For some inexplicable reason, he just can’t shake the feeling he wants to help her escape her endless commute.

This is a story of love and loss from the author of The First Time Lauren Pailing Died, perfect for fans of Anna Hope’s Expectation, David Nicholls’s Sweet Sorrow and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.

MY REVIEW:

“And so the conversation ended as it had begun, with tales of the Underground and the girl who never got off it.”

Ryan has struggled to move on since the death of his girlfriend fifteen years ago. Then one day he notices a young woman on the tube and is instantly smitten. He tries to learn more about her and travels on the same train each day hoping to find the courage to speak to her. He soon discovers that the young woman appears to be trapped on an endless commute, spending her days travelling the underground but going nowhere. 

Sylvie has travelled the underground each day since being fired from work eight months earlier. She’s caught in a meandering and never ending loop, waiting to find that elusive something that will enable her to feel able to stop her endless journey.

Can Ryan and Sylvie help each other break free of the ties that bind them to actions that prevent them from moving on with their lives?

Affecting, heartwarming and tender, Eleven Lines To Somewhere is a story of love, loss and moving on. Beautifully written, this was a slow burner for me, but by about a third of the way into the book I felt like I could really get into the story. 

I liked Ryan and Sylvie. They were quirky characters who we meet at a difficult time in both their lives, but I found them easy to like and relate to. I was soon fully invested in their lives and rooting for a happy ending after all the grief and trauma they suffered. 

In addition to the central characters, the author crafted a supporting cast who enhance and add depth to Ryan and Sylvie’s story that included friends, family and some strangers, who we don’t see how they connect with until late in the book. The London Underground that provides the backdrop for most of the book also feels like a character in itself, one that has entrenched the lives of the characters and become a part of them. It also felt symbolic of the lives of the characters; how they were confusing and chaotic, intersecting with one another in different patterns that change the course of their journey. 

This charming, poignant and uplifting story is like nothing I’ve ever read before and has made me eager to read the author’s previous novel. A beautiful, character-driven story that I would recommend.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✫

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Alyson Rudd is a British journalist with The Times who writes about sport, mainly football, and literature in the book club section. She was born in Liverpool in 1963 and grew up in rural Lancashire. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics but began her career in fashion before becoming a financial journalist. She was an enthusiastic footballer with Leyton Orient Ladies. She is married, has two sons and lives in West London.

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