Monday, 27 July 2020

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle Literary Fiction
Oh boy! I knew from the blurb I was likely to enjoy this, what I wasn’t prepared for was that
even just a few pages in that I would be so engaged with Hubert. Hubert is a lonely old man
of 84. His daughter lives in Australia and on their regular phone calls he tells her of his life
and his activities and his friends- except every word is his imagination. He rarely goes out
and sees very little of the human race. He even has notes about his three friends so that
story lines add up and make sense. His daughter is coming home in a few months and he
doesn’t know quite how he is going to tell her that it's all made up. One day he gets a
knock on the door and there instead of a parcel delivery for someone else, stands a
young woman and her daughter who have just moved in close by.  Alternate chapters
take us back to 1958 and Huberts arrival from Jamaica and his meeting with the love
of his life Joyce. Sometimes in amongst the many books I read comes along something
special, something life affirming and one to make me stop and think, smile and cry and
take stock of the world we are in. This is currently a very topical subject as Hubert and
his family have suffered racism for almost as long as he can remember. The major topic
is loneliness, something we can all do something about. When passing someone,
instead of nodding hello, maybe pass the time of day albeit briefly. Even just a few kind
words may mean the world to someone and change their day- we don’t know what
they are going through. I really didn’t want this to end. Each year about 10% of the
books I read (250+) earn a 5** rating for having that something extra. This one has
earned this and more. A book I have taken to my heart. Loved it really doesn’t
cover it. 
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