‘The Ends Of The Earth’ is the latest book by Abbie Greaves.
Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years. Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’ Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere. That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?
I adored Abbie’s debut called ‘The Silent Treatment’ a beautifully written story about grief and mental health and in her latest book, Abbie touches on similar topics.
The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Mary, who’s boyfriend disappeared 7 years ago and every evening, she goes to the train station in Ealing with a sign saying ‘Come Home Jim’. She unintentionally becomes an internet sensation when she was videoed giving out at the station. Aspiring journalist Alice’s job is on the line unless she can get a big story and she believes that Mary and her cardboard sign is the key and begins her investigation into Jim’s disappearance.
I genuinely loved this story, the characters, the complexities as well as the stunning backdrop of Northern Ireland. It’s written in the past and present tense from the perspectives of Mary and Alice. Mary is an outspoken woman from Northern Ireland for falls for Jim with his good looks. She falls headfirst for him and is aware that he has battles with drink and mental health. The story flows back and forth from her perspective, from the moment that she fell for him, his disappearance and her hope that he will return. She works in the shop as well as a helpline, hoping that someday, it will be his voice that she hear. Her hope and faith leap from the pages and she refuses to believe that he will never return. She feels that she let him down and with working at a helpline, will help others. Although Alice is hoping for the big story, you can see the human nature and morals come through the story, as she focuses more on reuniting Mary than the leading headline.
The story is a powerful read that highlights mental health sensitively and with care. Abbie, has written that mental health impacts much more than the victim but those around them, leaving unanswered questions and a desire to help. It’s evident that Mary is frustrated with Jim with his moods as it’s not a physical symptom and how much these outbursts tear the couple apart. Abbie paints a vivid picture of the Northern Ireland landscape and at times, her writing swept me away to the Causeway Coast with Jim and Mary on their adventures.
A story that tackles strong hitting subjects with care, ‘The Ends of the Earth’ is a story of courage and hope. Beautifully written with relatable characters, like Jim, it was hard to let go of this story.
You can buy ‘The Ends Of The Earth’ and is available to buy from Amazon and from good bookshops.