"Me just want to be left alone." ~ 83%
Widower Hubert Bird talks to his daughter in Australia every week on the phone. He paints a picture of perfect retirement. But almost every word on those weekly phone calls to his daughter are lies. There is no trio of close friends and fun outings. Their extensive backstories are made up. The truth is he's lonely. He doesn't see a single soul and barely leaves the house. Cue the tears!
Then when his daughter announces a visit, oh goodness grab your tissues because this will get emotional (and funny at appropriate times). Now Hubert faces a huge task: step outside, make friends and live the life he's pretended to have for so long.
"He'd made a rod for his own back with those lies and now they were taking the opportunity to beat him black and blue." ~ 10%
Is this a story about all the lonely people like the titles states? Yes indeed! The cast of characters and raw feelings hit me in the gut. I took a liking to this bunch and especially to young Hubert and his bride over the years raising their family. Many themes are explored but the focus stays on the commonality of loneliness, loss and finding friendship.
Through the language and "me" instead of "I" said by Hubert, I could pick up on the diction of a Jamaican man without slowing down my reading flow. The author does an excellent job of showing England as Hubert's home while representing his roots.
"...lonely alone." ~ 50%
ALL IN MY FEELINGS, FEELINGS! Mike Gayle strung words together in such a way that it touched my heart of stone. Each chapter blended present day with the past. It showed excellent character development and a family saga that brings tears, joy, empathy and fullness.
All the Lonely People is a gem that was hidden in my Kindle until I was granted an advance copy of the re-pub. Truly one of my favorite books read this year. If you have not yet read this treasure, add to your reading list then go hug somebody. As Mike Gayle perfectly states, it is the story of how someone's life fills and then empties again.
Happy (Re)Pub Day, Mike Gayle! All the Lonely People is now available.
Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.
Title: All the Lonely People
Author: Mike Gayle
Published: August 2022
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤