Miss You by Kate Eberlen
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
"TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE." Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.
Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.
A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment—the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.
With comparisons to One Day by David Nicholls (which I loved), I knew I had to read Miss You. The novel is told from points of view alternating from Tess and Gus over the course of 16 years. The two are from very different backgrounds. Tess is working class and Gus comes from a privileged family. Yet both of them share idealistic, romantic souls and big hearts. Both of them happen to be in Florence in 1997. They’re perfect for each other. And they happen to be in the same church at the same time. The beginning of a meet cute –right?
But they do not meet – at least formally. It is a missed connection that lasts for 16 years where Tess and Gus, through the ups and downs of their separate lives, “meet” at different tangents but never connect. I fell in love with them both, crying over their heartbreaks and tragedies. Tess and Gus go through so much that by the time the final chapters come around, where the reader knows they are finally destined to truly meet, they’ve earned it. It is an instant love that isn’t actually – not with all the disappointments and trials both have had to endure to finally get their fairy tale ending.