500 miles from you

Epistolary: (of a literary work) in the form of letters.

There are many classic epistolary novels such as The Color Purple (Alice Walker), The perks of being a wallflower (Stephen Chbosky), or Lady Susan (Jane Austen). Of course my favourite epistolary novel was the outstanding The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (which, incidentally, was made into a visually stunning movie in 2018).

The greatest part of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (both the movie and book) was the tremendous sense of place that was portrayed through letters alone.

This mood is shared by Jenny Colgan’s 500 miles from you, a semi-epistolary novel set in fictional Kirrinfief (Scotland) and London.

Lissa Westcott and Cormac MacPherson have seemingly very little in common. One is a nurse practitioner liaison in hectic London where she follows up on hospital discharges who have trouble checking into outpatient services. The other is an army veteran, all-purpose medical man in small-town Kirrinfief. Yet, an accident and a heart merges their lives in an extraordinary way.

Through emails and instant messages, an inexplicable bond is formed over a distance of 500 miles between two people who couldn’t be anymore different.

This book, set in the universe that Jenny Colgan first introduced in The Bookshop on the Shore, is as much a ballad to Scotland as it is a wonderful story of love and healing.

For fans of romantic comedies and travelogues alike.

Author: Jenny Colgan

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publishing year: 2020

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