Title: Miss You
Author: Kate Eberlen
Summary: For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England. Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?
The title of Kate Eberlen’s latest should be Just Missed You, as Tess and Gus’s story is hinged upon their lives touching for a moment and then spinning wildly away again with the force of contact. Told in alternating chapters and spanning more than a decade and a half, we get to follow these two people as each decision they make (or are sometimes forced to make) alter their lives into hitting different intersection points. (I think that the best thing – in that it’s the worst thing – is Eberlen gives us just enough of a hint that Tess and Gus would have met at critical points in their young adulthood, but instead pass alongside one another, never quite meeting (or even knowing that they should).)
This story sunk its tender melodramatic claws into me, and I stayed up late reading, buoyed by the hope that maybe this day fate would push Gus and Tess into each other’s orbit. That in this moment, they would finally become more than tertiary strangers just out of reach. But perhaps only because that moment is almost twenty years in the making does it mean all the more.
Miss You could have easily devolved into cliched mush, but in Eberlen’s hands, it feels real and raw. At the end of it all, I was so happy I cried.