Book Review: The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen

I am so pleased to bring you my review of The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen.

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?

How has it taken me this long to read this novel?!

Augusta Hope had always been different to other little girls – she has been devouring information ever since she can remember. Naturally that didn’t make her the most popular person at school, and she finds that she never truly fits in. Her beloved twin, Julia, couldn’t have been more different; sociable, lots of friends, a boyfriend – and an unwavering love for her sister Augusta.

When tragedy strikes her family, Augusta finds herself feeling more lost than ever. Her childhood fascination with the country of Burundi may just lead her to find her place in the world.

This is a dual story novel – Augusta Hope is of course our main character, but we also find ourselves following Parfait, a young man from Burundi who has to navigate a very different world to the one that Augusta finds herself in. This is a rich story of love, life, tragedy and overcoming adversity. Two wildly different stories interwoven together, it really draws you in. Neither Augusta or Parfait are characters that I can relate to in my every day life that but that doesn’t stop you wanting more for them both. I was utterly engrossed in this novel from start to finish – the characterisation is excellent, and the dual storyline means you really get to immerse yourself in two worlds that are so distant from one another yet so perfectly linked. My first thought when reading about Augusta was Eleanor Oliphant – I can definitely see a parallel between these two quirky, awkward characters. That’s where the comparison ends though, with this novel focusing on love, grief and really finding your own path in life.

I have no hesitation in recommending this novel – it is not a light, easy read but it is a novel that really seeks to immerse you in the story of these two rich characters. Let yourself be drawn into their stories, and let me know what you think!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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