- Book: Five Hundred Miles From You
- Location: Scottish Highlands, South London
- Author: Jenny Colgan
Lissa is a nurse practitioner liaison, based in London. She knows her territory and patients very well. She is however knocked to the core when she witnesses an attack on a young man whom she knows. She is in shock and traumatised and her boss feels she should consider a three month job swap. Cormac, based in the Scottish Highlands and also in the nursing profession, is not long out of the army and feeling unsettled. Both find themselves on the exchange programme and swapping jobs.
This is a poignant and sometimes gritty story, often overlaid with humour. What fun an author can have taking two people out of their familiar environments and dropping them somewhere new and so different. Cormac is convinced that London requires people to dress in colourful clothes to ease the daily grind of greyness. Lissa, up in the small village of Kirrinfief is taken aback by the rural community in which she finds herself. They don’t lock doors? Injuries from animals? It’s all so quiet. But she does meet a cute little hedgehog (called Neddie Needles)!
Lissa’s time is overshadowed by the fact she will have to appear as a witness in court.
After a while, Lissa and Cormac start to exchange e mails, purportedly to ease the other into the job. Gradually – including some great drawings from Cormac to Lissa – they discover more about each other. Where might this lead?
Jenny Colgan has written many, delightful novels and this latest outing is uplifting, funny and real.
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