Welcome to my Five hundred miles from you book review.
What you can expect
Five hundred miles from you is the latest paperback offering from Jenny Colgan. Colgan is famous for her feel-good romances set in Scotland and this one does not disappoint. There are a few different series of books by Jenny Colgan, but this one is a stand alone so a good entry if you’ve never read one of hers before. Even though there are a few repeat characters here in the setting of Kirrenfief village the main characters are new, so no need to catch up before diving in.
You can always expect a comfy read from Jenny Colgan, and by that I mean an easy read that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You’re in no danger of any bad ending that you didn’t expect. Sometimes you need to know that a story will end well right?
In Five hundred miles from you we meet Lissa, a hardworking nurse in the heart of London. She absolutely loves her job, and the busy environment that she lives and works in. It’s safe to say she’s fully immersed in the nurse life, living in nursing accommodation too. But then one day she witnesses an incident which changes how she feels about that environment she’s working in on the busy streets of London. She can’t seem to leave it behind or let it go.
We also then meet Cormac. He’s fresh out of the army and currently working for the local medical practise in Kirrinfief- a sleepy village in the highlands of Scotland. He knows everyone there, and everyone knows him and all of his business in return. It’s the kind of place where you can’t get a pint of milk without also getting all the local gossip at the same time. The job has become predictable and his skills aren’t really being pushed.
The idea is put to both Lissa and Cormac that they might like to take part in an exchange programme that’s just been set up where medical professionals can get different work experiences in another location for three months. Sounds like the perfect solution for both of them. Cormac can get out of his sleepy routine, and Lissa can have some headspace to get her mind around what she’s been through. So they switch lives and go to live in each others homes for the next three months, exchanging the occasional email about their patients and how best to deal with them.
Cormac is thrown into the city streets having to deal with drug addicts, both rich and poor, and sees first hand the appalling conditions migrant workers live in. He’s confused by his neighbours not knowing each other much and the every man for himself attitude. Lissa on the other hand struggles with the overwhelming niceness of people asking her questions and checking up on her. There’s also the small inconvenience of not always having signal to check her social media, and having nowhere to go to make posts for herself. The quietness makes it hard to sleep, and the free time with no internet and nowhere to go makes her mind race.
Gradually the pair both start to ease in to their new worlds and appreciate what this life has to offer. Really though we get to see Cormac and the people of Kirrenfief showing Lissa the advantages of living a slower life, getting close to people, and not hiding away. It also becomes apparent that Lissa and Cormac may be linked in ways they would never have imagined. But I don’t want to give any spoilers on that.
Recommend Five hundred miles from you?
This book has everything you would expect from a Jenny Colgan novel, and more. There is a heart warming love story set against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. There’s the local villagers who rally together in times of trouble. And there’s some great talk of food too. But this book is also really a love letter to the NHS. It shows the struggles in different areas that health professionals have to deal with on a daily basis. They’re out on their own, caring for people and sometimes being abused for it. There is no easy job when caring for people.
I would definitely recommend Five hundred miles from you as a heart warming, cosy, quick read for days lay around in the sun.
If you’ve enjoyed this Five hundred miles from you book review you can check out my other reviews here.