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Faye, Faraway

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A heartfelt, spellbinding, and irresistible debut novel for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Outlander that movingly examines loss, faith, and love as it follows a grown woman who travels back in time to be reunited with the mother she lost when she was a child.

Faye is a thirty-seven-year-old happily married mother of two young daughters. Every night, before she puts them to bed, she whispers to them: “You are good, you are kind, you are clever, you are funny.” She’s determined that they never doubt for a minute that their mother loves them unconditionally. After all, her own mother Jeanie had died when she was only seven years old and Faye has never gotten over that intense pain of losing her.

But one day, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself in 1977, the year before her mother died. Suddenly, she has the chance to reconnect with her long-lost mother, and even meets her own younger self, a little girl she can barely remember. Jeanie doesn’t recognize Faye as her daughter, of course, even though there is something eerily familiar about her...

As the two women become close friends, they share many secrets—but Faye is terrified of revealing the truth about her identity. Will it prevent her from returning to her own time and her beloved husband and daughters? What if she’s doomed to remain in the past forever? Faye knows that eventually she will have to choose between those she loves in the past and those she loves in the here and now, and that knowledge presents her with an impossible choice.

Emotionally gripping and ineffably sweet Faye, Faraway is a brilliant exploration of the grief associated with unimaginable loss and the magic of being healed by love.

296 pages, Hardcover

First published January 26, 2021

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About the author

Helen Fisher

1 book129 followers
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. Faye, Faraway is her first novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 842 reviews
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,453 followers
January 16, 2021
I am not usually a huge fan of time travel, but couldn’t keep my intrigue at bay when reading the synopsis for this one.

Faye is happily married to Eddie. They have two young children, and she loves her family with all of her heart. She never really got over the death of her mother when she was a young girl, and she makes it a point to let her daughters know how much she loves them each and every day.

When Faye finds an old Space Hopper box from her childhood, stuffed in the dusty attic, one thing leads to another...and she finds herself stepping into the box, and being transported back to 1977. She crashes into her childhood living room, and her mom is still alive. Her younger self is there too.

As Faye grapples with this, she can’t help but be drawn to her mother (who doesn’t know her as her daughter, but as a new friend). They become fast friends, and yet...Faye is terrified to tell her mother who she really is (the adult version of Faye). After a couple trips in the box from the past to present, Faye starts to question if the things she does in the past (as adult Faye) will alter the present...and vice versa.

Let me say that the writing is beautiful and heartfelt, and I felt many emotions as I thought of my own mother (who is alive...but just the thought of losing her is too much to bear). The story is interesting and captivating, and I can see why so many reviewers rated this so high.

For me, there was a little too much suspension of disbelief. Although I suspected that going into this story (and although I don’t always mind it), I couldn’t stop myself from pondering, “If this happened, how did that happen?” It was a bit distracting to wrap my head around, and a tad bit difficult to just go with it.

I also did not care for the ending. It was a letdown after I built up multiple scenarios in my head. As I reflected further, I determined that there were some sections throughout where nothing of great interest occurred.

As mentioned earlier, time travel isn’t normally my genre. However, one of my favorite books (possibly my all-time favorite book) is Diane Chamberlain’s The Dream Daughter. That one also had time travel aspects, and maybe that one is my exception to the rule.

I urge everyone to read other reviews for this too. I could very well be an outlier. A solid 3 stars.

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,860 reviews1,374 followers
February 4, 2021
Have you ever wanted to go back in time and to the people in it? Faye longs to reconnect with her mother Jeannie who died when she was a girl and was raised by lovely neighbours Em and Henry. She is now happily married to Eddie who is in training to be a clergyman, they have two daughters, Esther and Evie. Though everything in her life is good, she still feels her mothers loss keenly. Then one day something incredible happens - so, suspend disbelief and dive right into this very emotional journey.

First of all, I absolutely love the concept and premise of this novel which has love at its heart. I really like that you feel as if Faye is talking directly to you as she relates this fantastic story. It’s told in a very straightforward way which works superbly well as this story doesn’t need frills or bells and whistles. The characters are lovely and as a reader you feel Faye’s emotional turmoil as she doesn’t tell Eddie the truth until she has to. Louis, her friend is wonderful and the fact of his blindness adds an extra dimension as everything has to be described so carefully to him. There are a lot of themes to ponder on - love, loneliness and the grief of the loss of a much loved parent and the pain and longing of just five more minutes in their company which resonates and tugs at your heart strings. It’s an extremely thought provoking and philosophical book which makes you reflect especially on your own beliefs. I like the duality of the plot and the feelings it creates jointly in Jeannie and Faye and the dilemma it generates in Faye with what she could lose by going backwards. The end is absolutely magical.

Overall, this is a well written book with fantastical fantasy of a plot with some lovely images and a very clever title. I love the wisdom, I love the love, it brings tears to your eyes and touches you. It’s an original, moving and emotional rollercoaster which I didn’t want to end. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the arc for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,853 reviews35k followers
January 28, 2021
Audiobook...read by Sophia Roberts

“The most important thing to know about your parents, is that they love you”

Helen Fisher sprinkles sweetness of love on top of every theme she explores....(identity, womanhood, daughterhood, marriage, parenting, faith, truth, lies, secrets, love, loss, grief, the present, past, and future)....

It’s really ‘sweet’....tender....enjoyable....quick reading or quick listening....with charming characters.

Little thoughts about parents:
.....You cannot easily know your parents. It’s usually a waste of energy trying to know who they were before they were your parent. If you are a child who didn’t feel love by them— you can definitely forget trying to know them well.
The greatest gift a parent can give their child - is the feeling that they felt loved. Parents should tell their kids often - over and over how much they love them.

.....Love and time are vital .... spending lots of quantity time with children are important. Love is most important....but actually spending lots of time is necessary to create the experience of love.

.....It’s not easy to get to know your parents as people. It’s possible ....but not easy. We mostly only know our parents as parents.

Go in blind....enjoy the whimsical treats and surprises.

This is a time travel odyssey delightful....with serious sweetness!
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,097 reviews591 followers
January 16, 2021
Faye seems to have a perfect life with a job she loves, a happy marriage to to Eddie, who is training to become a vicar, and has two young daughters. However, she worries about becoming a vicar's wife and all the duties that will be required of her, especially since she is a non-believer herself. She also misses her mother who disappeared or died when she was young. Although she was raised by her mother's elderly neighbours who loved and cherished her, she wishes she could remember more about her mother. Finding a photo of her younger self sitting under a Christmas tree inside a box from her new space hopper (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_h... for a description), she feels her mother's presence and wishes she knew more about what happened to her mother. Her accidental discovery of a time portal connecting her to her childhood home in the 70s might just give her the chance to find out.

Written in a conversational style, this is an engaging novel about mothers, families and the nature of faith. It's hard to guess where the novel is going to go and the ending caught me by surprise (and left me with a few questions!). 3.5★

With thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia and Netgalley for a copy to read.
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews353 followers
December 28, 2020
Give me a well-executed time travel plot, and I will give it five stars every time. As much as I am not a fan of dystopia/fantasy/sci fi reads, there is something enticing about time travel - I blame it on my years-long fascination with the Outlander series. This one offered so much more though in the way of exploration of faith and family, and it moved me in ways that are hard to express.

Faye is a happily married, London mother of two young daughters, who tragically lost her own mother at the age of seven. She has never recovered from the intense pain and questions surrounding her mother's death and being adopted by well-meaning, but secretive neighbors. One day after a trip to the attic, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself in 1977, the year before her mother died. She now has the chance to reconnect with her mother, and even meets her own younger self (an anomaly in time travel!). Her mother immediately feels a connection with her and calls Faye her "guardian angel," after a heroic act saves the life of Faye's younger self. Faye attempts to nail down the mechanisms of time travel, as she and her mother become close and share many secrets between them, but she struggles with keeping the secret from her husband, who is studying to be a vicar, and who senses that Faye is hiding something from him. She becomes torn between the two worlds and the impossible choice she knows is coming, as all she can think about is spending more time with her mother, but is also increasingly worried that every time she travels to the past that she may become doomed to remain there forever. She eventually confides in her blind co-worker, who becomes her confidant and an integral part of her story. After a chance encounter in 1977 involving roller skates, everything changes for Faye, and she fears that she may be changing history by returning to the past again, but she desperately wants to tell her mother good-bye one last time.

Much of this book is spent contemplating the meaning of faith, trust, and the belief in things you cannot see. There is a spiritual element to it, but it fits the plot to a tee. Fisher does not try and rationalize or explain time travel in any way, and ironically, it makes the story all the more believable. I could not have loved all of the characters more - each one of them is achingly authentic and memorable in their own way. I literally could not put this one down, as for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how it was going to end. The end is a twist that completely caught me off guard, but in looking back, it is extremely clever and makes perfect sense with the plot. What I loved most though, was that for a few hours, I forgot about all the world's problems and lost myself in time travel and the contemplation of faith and just how far it will take you. This isn't a book for everyone, but if you're even a bit intrigued by this genre, this is one you don't want to miss. All the stars, as this is not a book that I will soon forget.
Profile Image for Melissa (LifeFullyBooked).
4,486 reviews1,623 followers
September 9, 2021
It took me a long time to get through this book. It's a quiet type of meandering story with lots (and lots) of inner contemplation and discussion and pondering and not a huge amount of action. I get that books don't always need a ton of action, but as this centers on Faye traveling back in time and meeting the mother who died when she was a child, I was expecting a bit more.

Overall I appreciated the themes explored in this tale, especially when Faye talks to Eddie and he compares his calling from God to her experiences. It made me stop to think of what I just accept in life as the truth or believable and what I cannot wrap my mind around believing. I did like this author's explanation for time travel and its effects on the present, it did make the book much more plausible for me once I wrapped my head around it.

When all is said and done, there's a surprise that is told to Faye and from that point on I knew exactly where the book was heading and I was correct. This was a bit of a letdown because the way things would work out in the end was most of the driving force of the novel. I liked the book, but it was just a little too drawn out and thoughtful rather than plot driven for me.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,157 reviews448 followers
January 11, 2021
Heartwarming and life-affirming. A book that rejuvenates the soul while pushing the limits of imagination. When reading about time travel it is easy to get twisted into a pretzel. Helen Fisher does an admirable job of presenting Faye's experiences in a straightforward manner while still opening us up to the 'what ifs.' This is a book I will be recommending with relish. I am keeping this short so I don't give away too much and ruin the experience for someone else. It has been compared to 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' but the book I immediately thought of as I started reading was 'The Bookseller' and then also 'The Dream Daughter'.' I also have to say that Stephen King's '10/23/1963' came to mind as far as the timing comparisons, but that is not the feel good read this one was. If you love reading about time travel, you cannot go wrong by choosing to read this book. It is amazing!

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bkwmlee.
367 reviews230 followers
January 12, 2021
2.5 stars

I don’t read much science fiction, as the genre just doesn’t interest me and I don’t want to waste my time slogging through books that I know I most likely won’t enjoy. Having said that though, I AM open to occasionally trying out books of other genres with sci-fi themes worked into the story (as long as it’s not hard-core sci-fi stuff) and there have been plenty of times where I actually had a good reading experience. This is one of the reasons why I decided to pick up Helen Fisher’s debut novel Faye, Faraway – with its premise as a “heartfelt” story about family, relationships, love, and time travel, I thought it would be one of the “exceptions” that I would be able to appreciate. The summary describes this as an emotionally gripping, contemporary story about a woman named Faye who time travels back to the past to see her mother, who had died 30 years ago when Faye was just 8 years old. Faye becomes friends with her mother (who doesn’t know who she is of course) and the more time she spends with her, the more Faye doesn’t want to let her go, even though she knows she must do so in order to return to her beloved husband and 2 daughters. In the end, faced with an impossible scenario, Faye must choose between a second chance to make things right with her mother in the past or letting go and returning to her happy life with her family in the present. Based on this premise, I went into this one expecting to be moved and perhaps to even shed a tear or two – but my reaction ended up being the opposite. Instead of the expected emotional reaction, I ended up feeling super annoyed and frustrated, both with how the story played out, as well as with the characters.

The story is narrated from Faye’s first-person perspective, which I feel like is one of the things that didn’t work too well in this instance, as it seemed that Faye spent way too much time explaining and justifying (and re-explaining and re-justifying) practically every action she takes, especially as it pertains to her time travel. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I found most of her arguments irrational and nonsensical. I’m all for flawed characters in stories (as we are only humans after all and are bound to make mistakes and bad decisions), but I also need to see these characters grow in some way as the story progresses, rather than remain one-dimensional from beginning to end. With Faye, I felt like she didn’t change throughout the story – her behavior was childish and immature from the start and it continued to be up until the very end. I also got annoyed by the fact that Faye would act overly unreasonable and stubborn throughout nearly the entire story – even when others tried to reason with her, she didn’t seem to want to listen. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I just find it hard to believe that Faye’s overwhelming desire to see her dead mother again (even she herself called it an “obsession”) could be all-consuming to the point that she was willing to put the life and happiness that she spent over 30 years building, (not to mention her family’s happiness) in jeopardy. The first time Faye encountered this dilemma (going back versus remaining in the present), I could understand her struggle with it and even empathize with her, but after repeated conversations with people who would tell her over and over again the dangers of her actions and how it wasn’t worth the risks, and even after she acknowledged they were right, but most importantly, she recognized that it was unfair to put her husband and daughters through the ordeal of potentially losing her if she got stuck in the past and couldn’t return, she still insisted on going, as she missed her mom too much not to do so. It was unfathomable to me how she could be so irrational and irresponsible, especially given how much she claimed that she couldn’t bear to leave her family.

The other part of this whole thing that annoyed me was the fact that Faye felt like she couldn’t tell her husband Eddie the truth (about her time traveling) because she knew he would try to stop her (especially since each time she traveled back in time, she would get physically injured) and she wouldn’t be able to bear it – so she decides to lie to him, even though she knows full well her husband can see right through her (as she repeats this continuously throughout the story). Then, when it gets to the point that her husband can’t stand it anymore and thinks she’s having an affair, she becomes indignant and belligerent, almost as though she is outraged that her husband would think such thoughts – again, her reaction made no sense given that she was the one evading his questions and telling him lies that even she herself didn’t find plausible. And then later, Faye berates the one friend who believed in her — when he tried to persuade her not to take the risk of going back to the past again due to the dangers and what it would do to her family, she insults him and claims that he’s jealous and throws his disability (blindness) at him...she even tells herself she knows she’s being unfair and he’s only trying to help her, but she’s so mad at her own helplessness that she lashes out at anyone who tries to “walk her down from the ledge.” Basically, my experience with this book was that each scene as the story progressed got more and more ridiculous, with Faye’s behavior more and more reckless and hysterical – needless to say, the more I read, the more frustrated I became.

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to characters in books are immature adults who behave unnecessarily defiantly – meaning they know that certain behaviors and/or actions are not constructive and, upon taking the time to weigh the risks, they understand that the outcome would be more harm than good, yet they proceed with the bad decision anyway, all the while telling themselves the equivalent of “I know I shouldn’t but I’m going to do it anyway” (and then of course regret it later when things don’t go as planned). Characters like these frustrate me to no end, especially when their actions and behavior make them come across as stereotypical (which Faye certainly did in this story, at least to me). Unfortunately, in this instance, it wasn’t just the characters, as parts of the plot didn’t make sense either, plus certain sections were bogged down by wordiness, with explanations and excessive descriptions of things that didn’t seem to have anything to do with advancing the narrative.

Overall, I struggled with this one and while I wouldn’t say it was a complete lost cause (I did finish the book after all), I felt that much of the story was a stretch and there really didn’t seem to be a point to it. If I had to sum this one up, I would say that it’s basically Faye on infinite loop trying to justify her time traveling with back-and-forth arguments that honestly didn’t warrant 300 pages to get across. I also didn’t feel the emotional pull that others seemed to experience with this book, though this was likely due to my annoyance with the main character being so strong that it was hard to feel anything else for her or any of the other characters. It could also be this was just the wrong book at the wrong time for me given the events of this past week and being inundated with examples of people showing poor judgment and making bad decisions. As I’m an outlier on this one amongst the many 4 and 5 star reviews, I would definitely recommend checking those reviews as well for a more balanced perspective.

Received ARC from Gallery Books via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Vonda.
318 reviews104 followers
January 12, 2021
This book excited me with it's storyline. An adult woman falls through time back to when she was 6 years old. She is able to watch her child self interact with her mother that she lost at 8 and yearned for her entire life. Having lost my father at 11 I loved this idea. Yet? This book absolutely dragged painfully and the only good parts was when she was watching her child self. It IS well written but the pace ruined it.
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,480 reviews149 followers
February 10, 2021
“Space Hopper” is written by Helen Fisher and is a remarkable time travelling story with some wonderful philosophical moments, focusing on female relationships, family and the power of faith.
‘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 1970’s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions. how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?’
Being of an age myself that I can remember the 1970’s and relating to the decade as Faye mentions, I instantly formed a connection to the story. I liked Faye and understood her reluctance to tell her clergy husband what she had discovered. It was always going to be a situation where she was thought of as crazy. Her blind from birth friend, Louis was a fabulous character and I enjoyed reading how their friendship developed from just friends into a more trustful and believing partnership. Faye’s dilemma to return to her childhood was also understandably an issue. Any science fiction follower will know that the world’s timeline shouldn’t be tampered with and that one ripple in the timeline of the past or future, can create massive time altering waves.
I thought I had everything all worked out as to how it would all conclude but no, a couple of curveballs totally threw me off.
You certainly need a leap of faith to read “Space Hopper” but it was a fun, poignant and thought provoking story but above all makes you realise you need to cherish the special moments and relationships in your life and rethink your belief in faith.
I would advise going into this emotionally gripping story with an open mind, who knows what the universe holds and where we could find ourselves one day?

Thank you to Jess Barratt for my copy of this enchanting book, in return for an honest opinion.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4
Profile Image for Leo.
4,181 reviews373 followers
June 18, 2022
Space Hopper was a surprising read for me as at first I didn't think I'll get much invested into it but I soon did. I enjoyed the writing a lot in this and it helped a lot with the plot. Might have not been as much of a fan otherwise
Profile Image for Sarah Cetra.
354 reviews12 followers
January 24, 2021
Truly the most boring time travel book I could imagine. Nothing happened, the characters were all flat, the main character was annoying & had no development, and her relationship with her husband was so weird.

Faye’s two female friends were awful, and had no other personality traits. Louis was fine, if one-note. Her children were hardly a factor in any choices Faye made, and her husband’s vicarage storyline felt like it was trying to say something but didn’t end up saying anything.

Really really not for me. Clearly.
Profile Image for Emma.
132 reviews52 followers
July 4, 2020
Like the protagonist In this novel, Faye, I too was born in the 1970s. I did not however, have a spacehopper, although I really wanted one! This book is all about the box the spacehopper is packaged in and the fact it allows now 30plus year old Fayeto time travel back to see her younger self, and meet her Mother. It’s a brilliant tale, and it kept me gripped with uncertainty regarding what would happen next. It’s well written and I really liked all the characters, particularly Louis, Faye’s good friend who she confides in. Am not 100% sure how effective the ending is, but I loved it just the same. Highly recommended. I was gifted this copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for La BiblioFreak.
57 reviews15 followers
February 22, 2021
Faye has it all: A wonderful and supportive husband, two sweet daughters, fantastic friends, and a job she enjoys. Yet there's one thing she feels like she's missing - her mother. Faye's mother died when she was 8 and Faye's felt her absence ever since. When she comes across a childhood photo and a space hopper box, Faye stumbles back into the 70s and rediscovers the woman who was her mother. But the time-travel comes with consequences. As Faye hops back and forth between the present and the past, she must choose what she's willing to risk to spend more time with her mother.

It's a cute, easy read but you can tell it's a debut novel. The author made some mistakes that new writers tend to make: an overabundance of similes, a tendency to overexplain, and unnecessary repetition. She also reuses the same similes multiple times (like comparing the time-travel to a rollercoaster ride), which could've been avoided. I think, especially since she's a debut writer, that the editors are mainly at fault. They should have guided her better and cut out all the unnecessary bits.

The writing style is quite colloquial. It reads like Faye is writing directly to us, the reader, which I found a bit annoying at times, especially when she asks us rhetorical questions: "Will you do something for me?", but overall I think the writer was trying to involve the reader as much as possible in Faye's journey. This might just be personal, but it didn't really work with me.

I also think Helen Fisher tries too hard to be introspective and philosophical but it comes off more as spiritual. There is a lot of God-talk that I wish I'd been warned about before because sometimes it felt more like Faye was on a journey to find God rather than find her mother and to me, it was a bit off-putting:
‘God,’ he said, in a whisper, ‘spoke to me!’ He shook his head gently. ‘Don’t you see that my story is as incredible as yours, maybe more so? I’m talking about God, and you’re talking about your mother.’

“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” ’

I just wanted to read a book about time-travel but it didn't really seem to be about that at all. I will say that I really liked the ending, however. I think the story was resolved perfectly with an ending that did it justice and might have actually been the best part.
Profile Image for Zibby Owens.
Author 5 books14k followers
January 26, 2021
I cannot stop thinking about Faye, Faraway. As I was reading, I did not see any of it coming. I keep spinning the story around in my head and going back to the beginning to see how everything worked. This book is very thought-provoking and amazing, and it's wonderful when there's a plot that gives you something extra-special at the end. From the very beginning, it made me want to keep reading.

I loved this passage: "The loss of my mother is like a missing tooth, an absence I can feel at all times but one I can hide as long as I keep my mouth shut, and so I rarely talk about her."

Another passage that made me think was: "I realized I knew nothing about this woman even though I loved her with all my heart." This quote made me pause and wonder, can you love someone wholly if you don't know all of them?

To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/hel...
Profile Image for Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.
2,419 reviews496 followers
February 14, 2021

“Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.”

... says the publisher, and they are right. I appreciated the idea behind this book, but unfortunately I just didn’t connect at all with the main character, which I think is essential with a first person narrative.

It’s my belief that Space Hopper is most likely to resonate with women who lost a parent, particularly a mother, at a young age, and can therefore empathise with Faye’s obsession. Someone of a Christian faith is also less likely to be bothered by the religious overtones than I was.

While not for me, Space Hopper may be perfect for you.
Profile Image for rebecca | velvet opus.
156 reviews59 followers
July 11, 2021
Space Hopper is a hidden gem in contemporary speculative fiction

it's rare to pick up a book that's exactly what you expected it to be. Don't get me wrong, I love a story that surprises me, but it's also so wonderful to pick up a book and just know what it's about, to get its vibe, without knowing the "big plot twist", the thing that happens in chapter 50 or THAT ending. Refreshing, really. Call it good, targeted marketing, but, if you like the sound of this book I'm pretty sure you'll love it.

Everything describing this book is spot on so in today's "go blurb or go home", I'm gonna go home because this book was comforting AF. Seriously, this book was a mug of hot chocolate, blankets on an autumn eve, the person you loved as a kid tucking you into bed and you drifting off in that blanket burrito. It was wonderful. Family, and feelings, and warmth, and impossible things all wrapped up in 80's nostalgia, lovely writing and a cover that I just want to add to a book themed pop art installation I'm planning for my dream library.

Space Hopper was a delight, pure and simple. It's one of those hidden gems that deserves much more attention because it was incredibly precious and so special.

I borrowed this from my local library via the Libby App
Profile Image for Deborah.
731 reviews47 followers
August 12, 2021
8-year-old Faye lost her mom and was taken in by an elderly couple and neighbors, Em and Henry. 30 years later Faye is married to Eddie, and they have two girls. Cassie and Clem are her best friends. Eddie is now studying to become a vicar. Evie struggles with his decision, because he has faith and she has none. After discovering a Polaroid and a box from her childhood, Eddie time travels back to her childhood home of when she is six years old and living with her mother. She meets Em and Henry and befriends her mother and childhood self. She had forgotten so much and tries to memorize all the small and big details to unearth when she returns to her present. Her mother teaches her adult self that love and time are what a child needs most.

Passing between time is a painful process and Faye is reluctant to tell Eddie, because she does not want him to think that she is either delusional or that he might prevent her from returning to protect her. She cannot tell her best friends either and is relieved to unburden herself to her big, gay, blind, and bear friend, Louis. He does not need to believe but wants to know. Louis listens and offers practical advice.

Would you want to travel to your past? If so, when? Would you stay? Would you share your experience? Would you believe someone if she told you she had? Would you help her? This is a novel about family, faith, hope, grief, belief, and choices. I loved the ending.
Profile Image for Jamie.
640 reviews
October 19, 2020
This was such an emotional book!
I was crying within the first few pages!
I’m not a big time travel fan but this was done right. Faye lost her mother at a young age and had always missed her. She’s now married with children. One day she finds a picture and gets the chance to go back and visit her mother again. The conversations they have are more than she could’ve imagined.
I definitely recommend this book!
Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
Profile Image for book bruin.
1,057 reviews276 followers
January 24, 2021
It has taken me a bit to wrap my head around this book. I was intrigued by the premise immediately and though I could sense how the story would unfold, there were still some delightful surprises. The novel is told in a playful conversational style. It took me a little to get used to the narrator, Faye, speaking directly to me/the reader as well as her meandering internal dialogue. You do need to suspend disbelief quite a bit to enjoy the story, but I don't believe anyone who couldn't, would pick up this book.

I'm not sure what my decisions would be if I was faced with the choices that Faye was. The beauty of the novel was how relatable her confusion, heartache, longing, and love were. The relationship with her husband, Eddie, as well as the one with her mother was fascinating. I don't agree with all the choices she made, but I can understand them. The story was quite thought provoking, especially when Faye discussed what was happening with Eddie and he compared it to his own calling from God. The idea of faith was woven beautifully throughout the story and though religion is a part of the book, I didn't find it overly preachy or in my face. The pacing of the story, however, was a bit slow and I didn't really feel truly invested or like it got going until around the halfway point. Once it did though, I didn't want to put the book down. I loved the cyclical nature of the story, but I almost wish that the book would not have ended on the note it did. There were still a lot of unanswered questions for me, but ultimately Faye, Faraway was a heartwarming and beautiful novel.

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
313 reviews16 followers
February 3, 2021
This was a wonderful read and I thoroughly enjoyed it although there were a few times when I wanted to give Faye a shake and shout 'No! Don't do that!' at her!

At times I also found it frustrating how she shared things with her friend, Louis, but not with her husband! I honestly was tempted to shout 'TELL YOUR HUSBAND!' at her a few times too.

I loved the time travel concept, although it was confusing to keep up with at times!

It was also sad and heartbreaking to read at times especially when Faye talked about the loss of her mum and how much she missed her.

Louis was my favourite character. He was a great friend to Faye, giving her wise advice and looking out for her.

Thank you to Pigeonhole and Helen Fisher for the chance to read this book.

Would definitely recommend it if you don't mind some time travel!
March 11, 2021
The combination of the wacky premise and the chance for a bit of 1970s nostalgia drew me to Space Hopper and I approached the book with an open mind for some quirky time-travelling. Sadly I wasn’t able to suspend quite as much disbelief as the novel requires and together with the meandering pace and contemplation of some fairly heavy subjects I had a hard time staying engaged.

Faye is a thirty-six-year-old mother to two young daughters and very happily married to Eddie who is currently training to be a vicar and although Faye has a hard time believing in the existence of things she can’t see (such as God), she is fully supportive of Eddie. Faye would be the first person to admit that she has never really come to terms with the abrupt loss of her mother at the age of eight and still remains unsure how exactly she died. Now a mother herself Faye realises the enormity of her loss and one of the few reminders of her happy times is a photo taken on Christmas morning of a six year old Faye peering out of a cardboard Space Hopper box and beaming at her mother! Just a few days later Faye finds the very same decades old box, steps inside and finds herself transported back to the seventies, the Christmas morning of the photo and meets her mother, Jeanie, and younger self!

The narrative is Faye in the first-person and the style is conversational with the reader acting as a sounding board for Faye’s adventures and I found her earnestness and the non-stop effort to be witty a little cringeworthy. Two visits to the past see Faye spend some precious time with her mother but fearing that Eddie will not believe her exploits she withholds the secret and a new distance opens up between them with Eddie questioning her fidelity. After confiding in her colleague, Louis, Faye begins to wonder if by going back to the past she might have the potential to change the future and the possibilities. Feeling gung-ho about paying one final visit back in time to say goodbye to her mother Faye is forced to consider the prospect that she might become stuck in the past and unable to return to the life, and family, she loves and is faced with an enormous decision.

I liked the idea behind the book and some of the themes explored but did feel that there was slightly too much emphasis on religious faith and belief in God and not a great deal on motherhood. I was also dismayed that despite raising some questions regarding time-travel and changing things in the past the discussion never really progressed beyond the cursory. Ultimately I struggled to connect with Faye, who seemed too good to be true, and the idea of a decades old Space Hopper box being a portal to the past combined with the musing on existential questions and memories at the expense of plot progression saw my interest wane. Overall I found the book a little too unrealistic on the subject of grieving and felt that whilst a great number of issues were raised, including time-travel, there was little definitive to takeaway from a ponderous read.
Profile Image for Fay Flude.
614 reviews26 followers
January 31, 2021
Where do I begin? How can I do this book justice? Before I write anything else all you really need to know is that you MUST read this book!
This is a marvellous nostalgic time travelling book that had me laughing, crying, sighing and frowning. I laughed because a lot of the events are funny, I cried because the central character Faye has never got over the death of her mother when she was just 8 years old, I sighed because of the profound and reflective comments often made by Eddie, Faye's husband, (as well as owner of the shop Serendipity, and Louis who is Faye's sightless friend), and I frowned because at times I really did need to puzzle over the logistics of travelling back to the past without altering events then or in the future which happen to be the present!
Given that I was born in 1970, this is the perfect book for reminiscing and I could identify with the metal roller skates attached to your shoes but I wasn't so lucky as Faye in that I never had a space hopper. Memory is a fascinating subject, how and what we remember and how details can change over time or be influenced by others.
One Christmas photo of herself as a child in 1977 is all it takes to spark a fantastical adventure for Faye, desperate to see and spend time with Jeanie, her Mum, and find a way to hold on to the love she felt as a child. A mother herself to Esther and Evie, Faye is faced with a real dilemma. After that first unexpected trip through time, does she risk her safety and the ability to return to the present day by going back again?
All Faye can remember is her Mum having a cold and then she was gone for good. Lucky to be taken in by middle-aged and childless neighbours Em and Henry (there are some brilliant references to The Wizard of Oz, a film I adored as a child), Faye seems desperate to understand what happened. It seems a huge risk in that she has such a doting husband in Eddie, but things are changing in the present day as Eddie is studying to be a vicar, and maybe Faye in trying to come to terms with a huge change in lifestyle, wants to cling to something very familiar and comforting.
I enjoyed the discussions between Faye and Eddie about God and faith (complements rather than intrudes on the plot) and found Faye's memories, the old ones and then the much newer ones, given her ability to see, speak with and touch her Mum again, tender, poignant and extremely emotional.
The build up to the very end completely captured my heart and my imagination and I LOVED it.
There isn't a single thing I didn't like about the book. I am simply envious that I do not have the skills that Helen Fisher clearly does, in creating a charmingly original and very readable journey through time for one woman.
I will NEVER see a carboard box in the same way again and I will definitely be watching where I tread!
Profile Image for Marisa.
1,137 reviews64 followers
November 14, 2020
this was one of the most heartbreaking and yet hopeful books I've ever read. From the beautiful cover (my favorite color scheme) to the very idea of reconnecting to a deceased love one I was hooked from the beginning.

Helen fisher writes with the voice of someone who has written for years; it is hard to believe that this is her debut novel. She paints such a clear picture and characters you want to hold and never let go.

at the heart of this novel is a story of faith, of hope and of embracing the present by letting the past guide you and letting the future be something you reach for.

there were times in reading that I thought I would never stop crying. And then there were times that I smiled and felt overjoyed. this was just a healing and loving experience. Fisher, has the capacity of completely bringing the reader into the scene. I could smell the scents, feel the textures and the weather.

I lost my mom 6 years ago, I was lucky to have her through my childhood. But I miss her daily. this story of thinking that a memory could be a portal to connect was just an amazing concept

this novel will stay in my heart forever!!!
Profile Image for Florence.
148 reviews13 followers
May 2, 2021
As someone who lost her mother at a very young age, much like Faye, I connected to this story so deeply. If I could magically travel back in time and know a younger version of my mom, I would not hesitate to do it. This book dealt with the topics of loss and mourning in such a relatable way. There were times when Faye made decisions that others would not understand or would think of as crazy, but she was just so desperate to have any moment with her mother that she could have. She was stuck between choosing being in the present day with her own daughters, and going to the past to try and get moments with her mother that she had never been able to have before.

I know this novel will stick with me for a long time and I’m so glad I picked it up.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,163 reviews
February 5, 2021
This was the last book I read in 2020 and it was a great one with which to end such a tumultuous year.

I really liked this novel, especially since I am so into time travel. Helen Fisher had a creative way of handling the time travel component, but you'll need to suspend disbelief in order to appreciate it.

The characters and storyline were enjoyable throughout. I thought it was cool what Faye did for her job and I loved her friendship with Louis. This novel helped me understand blindness in a new way. I found it interesting that the couple who took Faye in as a kid had the same names as Dorothy's aunt and uncle in The Wizard of Oz. Since both stories are surreal, it makes sense.

This novel will make you question which came first...the chicken or the egg. It's perfect for fans of The Dream Daughter, Oona Out of Order, Versions of Her, etc. I definitely recommend checking it out. And if you want a fun time travel TV series to follow this up with, check out Being Erica.

Movie casting suggestions:
Eddie: Luke Evans
Henry (1970s): Martin Freeman
Elizabeth: Emerald Fennell (Since she exists in two different times, some This Is Us makeup magic can be done.)
Em (1970s): Joely Richardson
Louis: Matt Berry

Profile Image for Heather Love.
162 reviews33 followers
March 3, 2021
If you could, would you change history. Your past? What are the consequences of tampering with the world’s timeline?

I’m not really into time travel (I loved Outlander mind), however this piqued my interest and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a lovely story about memories, moments that shape your life and in particular, mothers.

You know what, if I could, I’d do anything to meet my mom again. I still miss her terribly, often think she’d love this and that.

Faye travels back in time, and visits her mother who died when she was just 8 years old, going back to her childhood home in the 1970s as an adult and meets her younger mother and 6 year old self.

You may be thinking, REALLY? However this is a heartfelt, thought provoking read, compelling and poignant with philosophical moments. I found the writing style and content interesting and captivating, it moved me and made me think, what if? It’s an exploration of family and faith and Fisher’s style shares with you their conversations, it’s quite an emotional journey. Her relationships with her mother, Eddie, children and Louis are all explored.

Faye is happily married to Eddie, who is training to be a clergyman, with two daughters, Evie and Esther. Faye’s not quite sure about being a vicar’s wife as she is an atheist, but going with the flow. Losing her mother when she was so young, has left her with unanswered questions. Her mature foster parents, Em and Henry who were neighbours at the time, didn’t really share much about her past and how her mother died, which left her longing for answers.

She travelled back by accident, unexpectedly, and when she travels backwards and forwards, she does get physically hurt, so it’s quite a dangerous experience.

Funny, I formed a deep connection to the story when Fisher introduced roller skating to the plot, I had my own roller skates and loved skating back when I was a teenager.

The characters were well developed and Louis, her blind friend was exceptional. The way Fisher involves Louis in the plot is really clever, another dimension.

Excerpt:

“Before I did anything, I needed another glimpse of my mother; I was emotionally thirsty and she was my glass of water. Then I needed to get out of here without being seen.”

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, which is quite different and as always there’s a twist at the end, very clever. It’s worth the time to read. I’m so grateful Fisher didn’t give up trying to get this published.

A very enjoyable 4🌟

Thank you @simonandschuster @netgalley and @helenfisher_author for this ARC provided in exchange for my unbiased review.
Profile Image for Bridget.
2,737 reviews95 followers
March 1, 2021
I'm so pleased that this book caught my eye and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read an advanced review copy.

This début is a truly marvellous story. Eddie and Faye are happily married and they have two much-adored daughters, Esther and Evie. Eddie is training to be part of the clergy, and whilst Faye doesn’t share his belief in God their relationship is built on love, honesty, trust, respect and support. Though everything Faye's life is grand, at just eight years old when her mum, Jeanie died, she still feels her loss keenly. When Faye discovers a photograph hidden amongst the pages of her mother’s cookery book that was taken one Christmas of Faye sitting inside an empty space hopper box, Faye senses her mother's presence even though Jeanie isn't pictured. The space hopper box is in her attic and becomes Faye’s portal back to the 1970s, a journey into the past that may threaten to interfere with her life in the present day. Keeping her secret under wraps from Eddie is a risk Faye is willing to take if it means she can see her beloved mum again and again.

As soon as I began reading Space Hopper I knew it was going to pull at my heartstrings. Told from Faye's viewpoint there wasn't anything in this novel to dislike. As the story progressed I came to care for both Faye and her thoughtful husband Eddie. Whilst they were both great people, I thought Faye could have been more open with Eddie sooner than she was. There was something extra special about the considerate, perceptive Eddie with his loyalty and genial demeanour.

Helen Fisher's writing was truly magical in the way she portrayed all manner of moods and emotional states. I became rather smitten with all of the characters and wanted nothing but better things for them. The secondary characters brought so much to the storyline, too, particularly Faye's hilarious, grounded, rational, blind co-worker and friend, Louis. His blindness added an extra dimension to the story and the author's portrayal of him was first-class.

Space Hopper is rich in emotion, a truly outstanding début, and I cannot wait to see what Helen Fisher writes next. A fabulously untypical, whimsical and warm, contemporary tale that will melt hearts.

A special thank you to Simon & Schuster UK, Helen Fisher, NetGalley and Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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