On the Other Side is the debut fiction novel by Carrie Hope Fletcher, published in 2016 by Little Brown and Company and should be sold with a box of tissues.
The story follows Evie Snow, who has passed away at 82 with her family surrounding her. She has found herself at the doors to her own personal heaven. Unfortunately, the doors won’t open. This is because her soul is too heavy to pass through due to the secrets she kept while she was alive. To be able to pass through, Evie must find a way to rid herself of these secrets or she’ll never be able to go to her own personal heaven, and be forced to wander around aimlessly forever.
This book shattered me. I was a mess of tissues, tears and chocolate (for comfort). Carrie has built a world that sounds truly unique, from the most amazing of people to magical trees, I would honestly love to live in this London.
Evie Snow was a very interesting character. She grew up in a very strict household and was never allowed to follow her dreams. Evie is an artist and after much discussion with her mother Eleanor, she’s allowed to go and work at a newspaper making comics for one year; if by the end of this year she has made no advances in becoming an animator, she has to come home and marry to take over the family law business one day. I suppose a good way to describe it would be that Evie lives in colour while the rest of her family lives in black and white.
Evie meets Vincent Winters, a talented violinist who is busking to pay rent. Because he has taught himself how to play the violin, he plays with his eyes closed, so when Evie first meets him, he can’t see her. She has no money to give him, so she leaves him a sweet instead. They eventually meet face to face and it begins the most tragic and romantic adventure you could possibly ask for. Vincent was a wonderful character. Firstly, I thought the way she treated Evie was lovely, he’s a true gentleman and the type of guy anyone would want. Vincent loves Evie very much, and he would do anything to make sure she’s happy. Together, he and Evie set up her apartment into a home and it’s so beautiful.
Then there was Jim Summers. Dear, sweet Jim. He and Evie had been best friends for years because of their parents, and they love each other: Evie in a platonic way and Jim in a romantic way. This is very important to the plot, which I won’t talk about because if I spoil this book for you, you’re not going to be hit with the emotions like I was. But Jim was one of my favourite characters and he was one of the reasons I broke down and cried multiple times.
I thought this book was amazing and I think Carrie is a very talented writer and her take on what happens to you after you pass away was very interesting and definitely played a large part in why I chose to read this book. I spent a lot of this book crying into my coffee, and while I was trying to finish it, a small tear drop fell right onto my glasses (so I took a photo because I thought it was funny!)
I don’t remember the last time a book made me cry and then stop and then start again two lines later but it was probably Harry Potter! I had to put the book down so many times so I could dry my eyes and continue reading!
I’ve loved Carrie for about four or five years after seeing one of her YouTube videos so, I probably would have bought this book regardless of whether I thought it sounded interesting or not, because I wanted to support her and read whatever she writes. Thankfully, the idea drew me in from the moment she first announced she was writing a fiction novel. She’s definitely one of my go-to authors now and I will gladly buy any book she writes between now and when she retires, just like I’ll always watch her videos.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and magic, but also a good cry and laugh. 5 out of 5 stars from me!
There were so many beautiful lines in this book, but one that stood out to me the most (that wasn’t the last line of the book) was: “You were my single greatest adventure”.
Have you read this book? What did you think or are you planning on reading it?