The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

Glen has created an iconic character with Augusta, she is quirky and unique but also highly relatable. Told from Augusta’s eyes, this is the story of her childhood and early adult years.

Whilst the story follows her as she grows up, Glen cleverly slots some ‘current age’ commentary throughout giving a certain level of trepidation to the story, as often you know something is coming but you’re not a 100% sure what it is.

Augusta and Julia are twins, even from a young age it’s clear that they have very different personalities but what is lovely is their love for one another that radiates off the pages.

There’s a second really important character in this book – Parfait. His story unravels alongside Augusta’s and whilst the stories begin independently, they weave together in ways that neither of them even realise.

Parfait’s story is harrowing to begin with and I could feel the pain he felt through Glen’s carefully chosen words. As his story developed, I admired his determination and strength to continue to fill his life with love, hope and stability.

From a young age, Augusta picked Burundi as her favourite country, the older she gets the more she researches about it. Whilst she’s reading about it in books and online, Parfait has lived and breathed it all; and whilst he’s escaped it now, the torment continues as he thinks of the family he’s left behind.

When heartbreak and sorrow enters Augusta’s life, we realise how alike these two main characters are. If only they could meet…

This is a remarkably captivating and moving story that many will love. The way in which Glen explores trauma and grief through her main characters, created a depth to this story that strengthens the bond between the reader and both Augusta and Parfait.

It is a ‘deep’ story but is also has lightness and humour within it, Glen’s writing style is sublime – I loved the wittiness she added to Augusta’s thoughts, I was often laughing out loud.

Thoughtful and engaging, I enjoyed turning the pages on this one!

The Other Half of Augusta Hope is out now in hardback and eBook versions from The Borough Press.

Until next time, Chloé x

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