Thankyou to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Half the World Away, a debut romance novel by Rebecca Banks!
Half the World Away
Divorced and keeping a heart-breaking secret, Abbie Potter is sleep-walking through her life as a publicist at a London football club. She seems to spend more time covering their scandals than celebrating their wins, and has had enough. Though she’s already prepared for a fresh start, some shocking news pushes her to take an opportunity even further from home – in Salt Lake City.
The first morning of her new life, Abbie bumps into Kyle Miller. He’s persistent, and Abbie’s more than intrigued by him. Everything else seems to fit into place too: she has a fulfilling job, is on a journey of self-rediscovery, and has revived her love of music thanks to a new-found friendship.
She can’t risk losing what she’s built for herself, but how can she stop it from slipping through her fingers without shattering the façade she hides behind?
You can always tell when the authors put in their own life experience and passion into their books- the stories are more vivid, more real and full of interesting detail and this is the case with Half the World Away.
Abbie Potter has been working as a PR manager for a London football club for a few years. She is extremely professional and you can tell she loves the beautiful game, but recently she’s been feeling disappointed and upset about some of the things related to her work. Abbie’s loyal friend Violet is right, what Abbie needs is to put behind her past and start a new life. When quite unexpectedly she is offered a one year contract promoting a soccer club in Utah, Abbie decides to accept the very generous offer and give herself a fresh start.
Salt Lake City is lovely, she has a beautiful flat and an exciting job and a few new friends. Abbie’s biggest worry about moving to the States was that she would lose touch with her besties: Violet, her former flatmate Polly, her little sister Lily and, of course, her parents. But then a gorgeous ex-football player Kyle comes into her life and makes her realise she will never lose the people she cares so much about, because they love her and want to see her happy. Despite her newly found happiness and carefree facade, Abbie carries some serious emotional baggage which, together with some malintentioned people, risks to destroy everything she has been working for, if she doesn’t deal with it.
One of the biggest themes in this book is friendships, in particular, female friendships. Every girl needs a friend who will give her The Talk when she is stuck in a bleak, propectless job, or doesn’t know how to forgive herself for something in her past. I absolutely adored Abbie’s mum’s story about giving out mugs of hot tea to sisters in need.
Communication, communication, communication… is the basis of any kind of relationship. Easier said than done, right? We all make assumptions or jump to conclusions, falling onto our deeply-held self-beliefs or, as the case may be, our fears. The story is about Abbie and her journey of self-discovery, so the focus is very much on her rather than Kyle and their relationship, but I did feel this aspect could have been explored more. I also wish Abbie’s closure conversation with the ‘malintentioned character’ had a bit more depth…and forgiveness.
If you are a fan of British chicklit and stories about new beginnings, you are going to be entertained by this debut novel and will probably find yourself googling Liverpool (Abbie is a Scouse) and Salt Lake City. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from Rebecca Banks in future!
Rebecca Banks owns a boutique public relations agency specialising in sports and entertainment, and has 20 years of experience in PR and events.
She is also a freelance journalist. For over a decade she has written features from celebrity interviews and human profile pieces to motoring and travel reviews. Half the World Away is her debut novel.
Check out her website: www.rebecca-banks.com
Thank you for reading the post! Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it on this day!
If you would like to find out what other bloggers thought of Rebecca’s book, here is the full blog tour schedule: