I am a huge fan of Rachel’s books, so it gives me great pleasure to be reviewing her latest novel, ‘The Pieces of You and Me’. Its quite ironic that, being a book about illnesses, my post is late due to my own mental health and physical health issues. I do apologise and I thank RaRaResources for her patience and for asking me to be involved in the tour. Also, thank you to HQDigitalUK for the ARC. Here is my review:
They say time can heal all wounds…
When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.
But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?
What does TWG think?
If I were to choose one voice which could speak on my behalf regarding my thoughts and feelings surrounding invisible illnesses, i would pick this book every single time. Not only does the author make it clear that she suffers from ME/chronic fatigue syndrome herself, she puts the reality of day to day life with illnesses, into the storyline in a way which non sufferers will understand.
Granted, there’s a character in this book which unknowingly ends up representing a percentage of people who invisible illness sufferers unfortunately come across (spoiler – shes a battleaxe), but the characters who mattered gave me hope for the future.
As I mentioned above, the theme of ‘The Pieces of You and Me’ centres around Jess’ journey with ME and Rupert’s journey with mental health, and I think a lot of people could learn a thing or two from every inch of this book.
As someone who has multiple chronic illnesses and who suffers with their mental health, I found the content of the story both emotional and hopeful. Emotional because it was hard reading the similarities between fact and fiction, watching Jess struggle with something that was so far out of her control and being able to empathise with her. Emotional because the author wrote the words which I struggle to speak. Emotional because I wanted to thank the author for doing justice for chronic illness warriors everywhere. Emotional because it made my own situation become more real. Emotional because it made me realise just how much people expect of me….
Not forgetting hopeful, I mean you only have to pay attention to Jess’ mum and the word ‘hope’s ends up being everywhere. Caro is like an angel – I want one!
There were several dislikeable characters in this book for me, and I will hold my hands up and say that Rupert, a lot of the time, fit that criteria well. I know he had a hard time, and still was, yet the way in which he conducted himself at times made me feel as though he was throwing a tantrum purely because of his personality. Some may say a bit marmite.
I thought the split narrative was done brilliantly and gave the storyline a great variation. That said, I did struggle to work out what the ‘IT’ was for the storyline. You know, what the hook was if you took away the illnesses. I mean, I could see what Jess and Rupert were trying to achieve, but if they didn’t have the illnesses they had, what would have been their final destination because I actually thought they didn’t fit that well together!
All in all, I loved the fact that chronic illnesses are being written about, and I adored how Rachel Burton conveyed the harsh truths alongside the hope and belief. I am in awe at the authors strength, as well as the strength of her characters and if I could reach inside the book and give them all a big hug, I totally would.
A beautiful portrayal of missing puzzle pieces, the power of hope and understanding, as well as the thought provoking realities of hidden illnesses – I would recommend Rachel Burton’s words in a heartbeat.
About the author.
Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.
Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.
Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….