Augusta Hope has never felt like she fits in.
At six, she’s memorising the dictionary. At seven, she’s correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi.
And now that she’s an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia.
When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta’s life, she’s propelled headfirst into the unknown. She’s determined to find where she belongs – but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away?
I loved this book. The Other Half of Augusta Hope is a wonderful debut from Joanna Glen.
There are really two stories here, one told by Augusta and the other by Parfait.
Augusta Hope is a second born twin who doesn’t seem to quite fit in with her family. There is something very unique about her. Augusta is the clever and quite intense sister. Her twin Julia is the pretty and popular sister.
Augusta is fascinated by and loves words. When she was 8 Augusta decided that her favourite country was Burundi, simply because she loved the sound of the name. She is determined she will leave home and go there some day.. Following the most dreadful and shocking family tragedy she does eventually leave home, but not for Burundi. She retreats to Spain to a place where she had once spent a holiday with her family.
Meanwhile in war-torn Burundi orphaned Parfait is struggling to keep his family together. When tragedy strikes he too is determined to leave for a better life and embarks on the long, long journey. to try to reach Europe.
Their stories are told separately and as their stories unfold you see some parallels in their very different histories and also huge differences. Two stories, different continents. Will their stories connect somehow?
I really liked the wonderful storytelling cleverly interwoven. All the characters are interesting, not just Augusta, Julia and Parfait. The tale is funny, sad, tragic, devastating, frightening and heartwarming. and most of all enjoyable. (Although you might need some tissues close by for both the joy and the sadness)
Definitely recommended. The Kindle and Hardcover editions are available now.
[My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, The Borough Press, for providing a digital review copy]