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I was hooked by the premise of this charming novel and fully caught by its immersive setting, wonderful characters, and heartwarming journey of our curmudgeon protagonist. Aging widower recluse Hubert Bird has created a vibrant imaginary social life to delight his daughter during their weekly phone calls, but now she’s coming to visit and he needs to find some real friends fast. Balancing humor and heft, this is for fans of A Man Called Ove, Tin Man, and human kindness
In this "warm, funny" novel (Good Housekeeping), Jamaican immigrant Hubert Bird rediscovers the world he'd once turned his back on as he learns to find happiness after staying in isolation for so long.
In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it's a lie. In reality, Hubert's days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul.
Until he receives some good news—good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit.
Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out. Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .
Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?
About the Author
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. After earning a Sociology degree, he moved to London to become a journalist and ended up as an advice columnist for a teenage girls' magazine before becoming Features Editor for another teen magazine. He has written for a variety of publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and Cosmo.Mike became a full- time novelist in 1997 and has written thirteen novels, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. After stints in London and Manchester, Mike now resides in Birmingham with his wife, two kids, and a rabbit.
“Hubert Bird is a gentle hero and I loved him. A book that is perfect for the times we live in, but also one to treasure for many years to come.”—Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things
"This thoughtful novel is warm, funny and gives you all the feels."—Good Housekeeping
“A winning tale…Readers will be touched.”—Publishers Weekly
“Mike Gayle is on World Beating Form with All the Lonely People. It's the right book at the right time and you're going to love it.”—Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop on the Corner
“I'm such a fan of Mike's, and think this is absolutely his best yet. The characters are so warm and so real, and the issues of loneliness and displacement are so very topical and important.”—Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author
“A heartwarming story about the power of community and human connection. Hubert Bird stole my heart.”—Beth O'Leary, author of The Flat-Share
“A tremendous read, as always. A funny, warm, heartbreaking, wonderful story about family and friendship and the power of caring in an imperfect world. Hubert, Ash & the gang are unforgettable characters.”—Tracy Rees, author of Amy Snow
"With a winning main character, this absolutely heartwarming story unfolds with just enough surprises and heft to keep readers engaged. A natural choice for fans of Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand or any of the myriad recent books about cranky men finding late-in-life joy."—Booklist