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Friday, July 2, 2021

Review: All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle

All The Lonely People
by Mike Gayle
Narrated by Ben Onwukwe

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing & for this delicious gifted book.

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: July 13, 2021
12 hrs 21 min
Genre: Contemporary

In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Birdpaints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it's a lie. In reality, Hubert's days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul.

Until he receives some good news - good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all....

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?

My Review:

Mike Gayle, what HAVE you done to me?! Uff, my heart...  Hubert is a character I will soon not forget.  Leaving Jamaica as a young man to travel to England for a better life, he endures obstacles along the way.  The racism and bigotry of the time (which, let's face it, still happens as we know), missing his homeland... but he meets the love of his life... a union that was very much looked down upon.  And they have two children, a son and a daughter.  When she passes away, he look forward to his consistent phone calls with his daughter, Rose.  But soon she says she is coming to visit and now this picture he's given her through rose colored glasses of what his life is like... he has to somehow make happen because really he is a very lonely old man who doesn't want her to worry.

I think this past year and a half of dealing with the pandemic and many of us being isolated by ourselves has given us a very brief and small taste of what it can feel like to be completely alone, maybe some feelings of abandonment and all around just forgotten about.  Gayle very much dives deep into what severe loneliness can feel like and my goodness does this bring about a roller coaster of emotions.  Our elderly should never feel like they've lost all their friends, that they're invisible within their own community.... 

Gayle takes us back from the past to the present as we learn oh so much about Hubert and his very challenging but beautiful life.  He tells us a story of the very deep layers an individual can have and how the smallest gesture can change someone's life completely around.  Be kind to those around you and SEE them, please.  This colorful and loving cast of characters really shine through the pages.  I can't recommend the audiobook enough - Onwukwe's voice is like butter on toast and very soothing.  If you need an uplifting and very emotional read, look no further.


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