My thanks to the publisher who granted my request to read via Netgalley. This review forms my honest opinion.
Joel is afraid of the future.
Since he was a child he’s been haunted by dreams about the people he loves. Visions of what’s going to happen – the good and the bad. And the only way to prevent them is to never let anyone close to him again.
Callie can’t let go of the past.
Since her best friend died, Callie’s been lost. She knows she needs to be more spontaneous and live a bigger life. She just doesn’t know how to find a way back to the person who used to have those dreams.
Joel and Callie both need a reason to start living for today.
And though they’re not looking for each other, from the moment they meet it feels like the start of something life-changing.
Until Joel has a vision of how it’s going to end . . .
Usually, if a book makes me cry it is because it transports me to a time I can personally relate to – unearthing my own feelings which swirl into those of the characters and their story. It’s surprising therefore that I found myself sat on a Monday night crying uncontrollably into my red wine with my husband tutting and side eyeing me in disgust while my loud sobs blocked out the garden-based wisdom of Alan Titchmarsh on the telebox. All because a guy in a book had a bad dream about a girl he fancied. It’s hardly relatable stuff on the face of it.
And yet the author has created two characters in Joel and Callie who got under my skin so much that I fell in love with them. That I felt what they felt and I wanted the world for them. They are the true magic behind the The Sight of You, their relationship is the stuff of dreams (pun intended) and I was their one person cheer squad positioned in the margins of each page, pom poms waving furiously. I became so very invested in them that I found myself arguing with them in my head hours after I finished a chapter. I couldn’t understand why Joel made certain decisions. I couldn’t understand Callie’s point of view at times. I still don’t understand to a certain extent, and I would love to discuss these points with someone because I am still…..a couple of weeks later, mulling over the events of this book.
The events of the novel are seen from the point of view of both Joel and Callie in turn, from before their initial meeting to several years down the line. There is very little in the way of major secondary plots to distract from the building of these two characters, everything that does happen serves to consolidate them as people, rounding them out and the author does a magnificent job of pulling all these threads together to build them up. There are few novels that I read that I would say I can truly ‘see’ the characters in my minds eye, but this is one of them. And I think that is why *that* scene towards the end held so much power and triggered so much emotion in me. Simply done, and yet so effective.
The Sight of You is wonderfully written, evocative and so essentially human. At a time when it feels the world has broken so irretrievably, this book has been my solace and my escape. For despite the tears, it bubbles with hope and that most basic of human desires – love. An incredible novel, it will, I know, be a very strong contender for my Top Reads of 2020 list.