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The Other Half of Augusta Hope

Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is a story for anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong.

Augusta Hope has never felt like she fits in. 

At six, she’s memorising the dictionary. At seven, she’s correcting her teachers. At eight, she spins the globe and picks her favourite country on the sound of its name: Burundi.

And now that she's an adult, Augusta has no interest in the goings-on of the small town where she lives with her parents and her beloved twin sister, Julia. When an unspeakable tragedy upends everything in Augusta's life, she's propelled headfirst into the unknown. She's determined to find where she belongs - but what if her true home, and heart, are half a world away? 

©2019 Joanna Glen (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"I found it both a mesmerisingly beautiful portrait of a young woman discovering what home means to her, and a poignant depiction of how our actions can touch other people's lives in ways we could never have anticipated. Augusta and Parfait are wonderful characters; I was willing them on to find the happiness and peace they both deserved." (Sarah Haywood, author of The Cactus)

"The most gutsy, endearing and entertaining meditation on the meaning of human existence that you're ever likely to read." (Deborah Orr) 

"Keep the tissues close." (Good Housekeeping)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 22-07-2019

Powerful stuff

This is a beautiful, emotional and thought provoking story with excellent narration. Although there are many uplifting moments, it’s probably not one to listen to if you’re feeling low.
The reason for the loss of a star for me personally is in part down to a couple of threads that I really wish had been, if not tied up, at least properly addressed in the epilogue. The other thing that drove me potty at times was the constant he said, she said, they said, I said business. I believe it was an artistic decision to add a sort of rhythmic poetry to the book, rather than a case of bad editing, but it drove me around the bend in places!

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  • V. Wilson
  • 11-07-2019

INCREDIBLE

Wonderful wonderful wonderful book. The narration was magically perfect. in fact I think the narration was so blissful that I'm.not sure if it would be the same if I had read it myself

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  • Rachel Redford
  • 06-07-2019

A gripping and moving first novel

I really enjoyed this debut novel - it is crammed with emotional strengths from dire distress to inner happiness. It is the story of very unlike twin sisters Augusta and Julia bound by the ties of childhood and twindom. Their childhood in the the very ordinary part of England with prickly mother (who loves Julia best) and good, hard-working, dull-seeming father.is superbly created. The family holiday in Spain is a source of division between the sisters lurking unexplained in the narrative for much of the book. The story takes the family through to the twins' mid-twenties, growing up and taking different paths, Augusta to Durham university, Julia staying at home with boyfriend Diego; their parents too growing old created with such insight. Augusta is different - her love of words from childhood carries her through life, feeding her soul with the pleasure she gets from words, their derivations and connotations, also marking her out as different. I loved that theme.

Right from the beginning we know that Augusta ends up living in Spain because she tells the story, and we know that the second narrator read by Jude Owusu is Parfait, a refugee from Burundi living in Spain, and that their paths will cross. The weaving of these two voices - of Augusta and Parfait - are woven together with great skill.

I can't say more about the plot because it would spoil the way that events play out and ripple through the whole narrative. You just have to listen to it and be enchanted and totally engrossed.

The only reservation I have is that (I expect many will disagree) the ending slips a little into fairy-tale-with-a-moral which makes a warm and positive ending, but doesn't quite go realistically with all that goes before - which has been total realism.

It's exceptionally well read - Stephanie Racine is totally immersed in all the nuances and subtleties.

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  • Tracey
  • 04-07-2019

Interesting Plot

After the first few minutes I stopped listening. The monologues of Augusta and her words became dull. I tried again later and it took until the latter part of the first Chapter and a little beyond to really get into the story. Personally, at times Augusta's monologues are slightly lengthy however this doesn't detract from the story in its entirety.
The story is a poignant tale about a slightly dysfunctional family with a gifted, non-conformist twin daughter seeking a better life. The co-plot follows the life of a young African boy fleeing Africa during a civil war and, after tragedy, seeks a better life elsewhere.
I enjoyed the both narrators and although I knew where the story was heading, it was exciting listening to it unfold in the creative style of the author.
Definitely an author to watch out for. A great story.

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  • Presto
  • 23-06-2019

Thought provoking

Lovely story, beautifully written and told. I loved the way this was read and would definitely recommend.

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