They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.
I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.
Right now, you probably think I’m going mad.
Let me explain…
Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?
Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.
When I read the blurb for Space Hopper by Helen Fisher, I thought to myself, this book was for me. It is one I can read and one I will enjoy and I did!
The things that I loved were the story, it feels original and fresh! The way the writer takes a narrative about grief and how it pervades our lives, is told with sensitivity and an honest acceptance of how it changes us all, in ways that affect us going forward with our lives. The characters are also beautifully drawn and are used with great affect to explore the question of how far would any of us go to spend one more moment with those we have loved and lost.
There have been many books that have used similar themes, but what Helen Fisher does is add something quite special into the mix, that grief is not contained within a period of time, but in fact it ripples through the days, weeks, months and years. That it can sit dormant until an event, or just a moment awakes it again, like waves on a beach, rolling in and out, as grief does for those left behind.
I lost my father when I was eighteen and for me she portrays that yearning I have to go back in time and just say one more time, ” Dad, I love you”. She also explores that endless debate I have with myself, what would my life have been like, had he not died that day. I have been truly blessed with friends and family that I may not have met if dad had not died and I would never not want them with me. But if I could have both, would that not be something to take a chance on?
It is this she covers with such insight, that a week after reading it, I still find myself wondering, would I chance one more moment with him, to seek answers about why he didn’t head the pains in his chest, he had not mentioned to me. The opportunity to frog march him to the GP, so that my adult life would not be shaped for so many years by the ache in my heart, to be able to introduce him to his granddaughter in all her wonderfulness. To stand next to me as I graduated from University and introduced him to the friends that have become family, their children a joyful part of my life. Like me Faye is happy with her family and friends, but like her, his loss weighs on my mind on times, faced with the chance to see him again and the feelings that induces, is why this book is being lauded as the debut on 2021.
About the author
Helen Fisher spent her early life in America but grew up mainly in Suffolk, England, where she now lives with her two children. She studied psychology at Westminster University and ergonomics at University College London, and worked as a senior evaluator in research at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She is now a full-time author; Faye, Faraway is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.