Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 4, 2017)
“If ever a couple was meant to be, it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant, and uplifting story of two lives crisscrossing over the years, with near miss after near miss. . . . I couldn’t put it down.” Sophie Kinsella
A wryly romantic debut novel with echoes of One Day that asks, what if you just walked by the love of your life, but didn’t even know it?
“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” Tess’ get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.
Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.
A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment, the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.
But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .
Kate Eberlen grew up in a small town thirty miles from London and spent her childhood reading books and longing to escape. She studied Classics at Oxford University before pursuing various jobs in publishing and the arts. Recently, Kate trained to teach English as a Foreign Language with a view to spending more time in Italy, a country she loves and has visited many times. Kate is married with one son.
The question that is raised in Miss You is this, is it possible to find a forever soulmate? The book begins with Tess and Guss as 18 year olds on vacation in Italy. A chance (serendipitous?) meeting over gelato is the first of many chance meetings over the next sixteen years.
Both Tess and Guss live very contrasting lifestyles that take them in different directions, including exhausting and unhappy relationships and their subsequent emotional rollercoasters. The threads of their lives imperceptibly intercept along those journeys but never seem to truly connect. Both feel unfulfilled as they put the needs of others ahead of their own, including Tess’s devotion to her much younger sister who has Asperger Syndrome.
Did I like this story. Hard to say. Despite a whopping 433 pages of text, I found it hard to really determine what Tess and Guss really wanted out of life. After struggling through numerous painful relationships, I found that story simply ran out of steam and the ending felt rushed and contrived. Not a fan of “insta-love” stories, I felt that there could have been more commonalities to make this relationship feel more believable.