Curl up on your sofa with a cup of tea, make sure you have a box of tissues and maybe a cat handy, and fall into On The Other Side. This is Carrie Hope Fletcher’s first novel and boy did she come out with a bang! I read this wonderful story full of love and magical realism in one sitting and suggest you do the same.
Evie Snow has lived a long life but in order to gain entrance to her personal heaven she must unburden herself of her secrets. We follow her deep into the past, to the year she was happiest and in love and watch her story unfold.
I loved this book’s layout – it’s phenomenal. The story jumps from past to present and switches between characters which can sometimes be a confusing thing but the layout of this novel meant you always knew exactly where you were, adding to the flow and reading experience. No flicking back a page or two in confusion!
Carrie’s writing style is vivid and feels natural, it transports you away from your couch and into the world of Evie Snow. I loved the descriptions of both locations and people, everything felt every real to me. The story also has a magical realism theme that was executed perfectly, it felt completely natural when the extraordinary happened.
The cast of characters used in this story are incredibly diverse and interesting. Many different personality types are explored; there are people of all shapes and sizes (including a curvy and board-shouldered protagonist); and the novel explores different sexualities as well, actually using words like pansexual and bisexual in the place of the subtle hints you usually see.
This novel is predominately a story of love, the love between Evie and Vincent. I enjoyed the way the romance was written, it wasn’t cloying or overdone, it felt natural and similar to my own experiences. I was interested to see how Evie and Vincent reacted in certain situations and would love to see a ‘Day In The Life’ style novella in the future (pretty please, Carrie?). I definitely ship these two.
The creativity of the author really shines through the pages of this novel, some of her inventions are completely whacky and downright marvelous. If you like Disney, then you will love all the references from Peter Pan to Marry Poppins’ carpet bag. And if you are a Hopeful – like me – you will appreciate Carrie’s subtle nod in our direction.
Overall I had a ridiculously good time reading this novel, I laughed out loud and shed more than a few tears (awkward if you are sat on park bench). I gave this novel a well-deserved 5/5 stars and will probably be re-reading it the next time I need a pick-me-up. I truly recommend you give it a try; if you like it, pick up Carrie’s non-fiction work All I Know Now or check out her YouTube channel ItsWayPstMyBedTime, Carrie will always leave you with that glowing feeling of positivity and hopefulness.