Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon
One of the things that sets Someone I Used To Know apart from all my other books is that the characters don’t jet off to another country.
I’ve loved writing about sunny, summery locations over the years, including Key West and LA, Thailand, Norway, Italy, France and Spain, not to mention Australia on numerous occasions, and one of my favourite things to do as an author is visit amazing places for research.
But when the idea for Someone I Used To Know came to me, my heart immediately gravitated towards North Yorkshire as a setting. You might think this is because a worldwide pandemic is currently making travelling to foreign countries difficult, but the funny thing is, I’ve had this book idea for three years. I chose to write about North Yorkshire in the UK simply because I love it.
Having met my husband-to-be (a Yorkshire boy through and through) at university, I’ve spent over half my life regularly going up north to visit his family, and we always fit in trips and mini breaks to stunning locations while we’re there. I’ve written plenty of scenes set in Yorkshire, but never a whole book, until now.
Brimham Rocks is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s an incredible collection of dramatic giant rock formations set amongst a carpet of vivid green grass, feathery ferns and purple heather, and my characters use it as their playground.
The book is set across two different timelines, told in alternating chapters: Then, when the main characters are fifteen and Now, when they’re thirty.
At the age of fifteen, my heroine, Leah, lives with her parents on an alpaca farm at the edge of Brimham Moor. Her mum and dad are foster parents and there are currently five other children and teenagers living under Leah’s roof. George is about to take that number up to six.
Theo is also new at the local state school. A wealthy landowner’s son, he’s mysteriously dropped out of boarding school, and is making no attempt to fit in with his peers. But Leah soon discovers that he and George have more in common than first appearance would suggest. As summer wears on, she grows to love both boys, but falls head over heels for only one.
In the Now section, Leah and her young daughter are home again, but while George has returned after fifteen years, Theo is absent. As the story unfolds, the journey takes us to sunny Devon, but we never leave the shores of Great Britain.
The vast majority of my readers live in the UK, and I’ve had countless messages over the years from people telling me that they have purposefully gone to visit the places I’ve written about. In a year when we might not be able to travel far, I love that this story celebrates some of the beauty we have right here on our own doorstep. I hope my readers who don’t live in the UK will forgive me, but these gorgeous locations will be open to you again soon, I’m sure. And it will be worth the wait, I promise.
Lots of love, Paige x
‘Gorgeous, brimming with heart, this is Paige Toon at her best. Beautiful and accomplished… A class act’ MILLY JOHNSON
‘The themes of compassion and connection will warm your heart’ HEAT
‘Alluring, poignant . . . a character-led story that will surprise and delight’ Woman’s Own
‘A gorgeous tale of love and hope’ The Sun
‘A lovely read’ Bella
‘Thought-provoking, heartwarming and heartfelt’ Yorkshire Times
‘Full of warmth, love and second chances, making it a pitch-perfect summer read with a moving and uplifting story that’s sure to stay with you for a long time to come’ Culture Fly
***** ‘Paige Toon never disappoints’ Emily
***** ‘My heart is full and ready to burst’ Netgalley Reviewer
***** ‘I love how all of Paige’s books have you hooked from the very beginning’ Melissa
**** ‘Three chapters of Someone I Used to Know’ and you can already tell you’re going to need the tissue box’ Natalie
***** ‘Another fantastic read’ Lucy
‘Paige is one of my all time favourite authors and I always look forward to her new books. You really do ‘Feel it all’ when you read a book by her. I give Someone I Used To Know a glowing 5*/5* – it’s currently my favourite book by Paige!’ Kirsty, read her full review here.
‘There is so much love at the heart of this book. It is always the centre-point of a Paige Toon novel but this one in particular just spills over with love in the most passionate and life affirming way. It gives me hope and I love to see when love can last over the years whether that is in the romantic sense, the friendship sense or the love of a family’ Catriona, read her full review here.
***** ‘It shows the talent of an author when you have only read three chapters, and you already have a bond to them and are invested in their story’ Laura
***** ‘Loved it’ Rosamond
***** ‘Another absolute cracker from Paige Toon’ Karena
***** ‘Oh my, I’m so hooked!’ Kay
**** ‘Another amazing read’ Netgalley Reviewer
***** ‘You just know this is going to be an emotional roller coaster of a read!’ Sharon
***** ‘Another fantastic read from a fantastic author’ Nets R
***** ‘An amazing book’ Chelsea
‘A life affirming and uplifting story that really made for tender and poignant reading and I genuinely never wanted it to end. Oozing with heart, charm and nostalgia, Someone I Used To Know is a beautifully written and heartbreaking story about love, loss and family and is a must for read for all Paige Toon fans’ Bronagh, read her full review here.
‘Filled with love and family, it will make you cry, break your heart and then slowly glue all the pieces back together. I have literally sobbed reading parts of this! A most definite five star read that I absolutely recommend. Aan absolutely stunning novel that will take your emotions on a rollercoaster and leave you wanting more’ says LittleMissBook6, read her full review here.
‘I really couldn’t put this beautiful, uplifting book down…. one of those books where you had that aahhh moment after finishing and I wouldn’t think twice about re-reading this!’ Hannah, read her full review here.
‘Although at the core this is a story about love and broken hearts learning to trust, reconnect and love again, the surrounding story is not only poignant it is also timely’ Cheryl, read her full review here.
‘Someone I Used To Know will draw you in and fill your heart with opposites: joy and sadness; anticipation and surprise; disgust and trust; sorrow and happiness; tears and laughter. And when it ends, you’ll find it hard to let go. One of my top reads this year. Don’t miss it!’ Sharon, read her full review here.
‘A beautiful, emotional, and heart-warming story, grab a tissue and settle down because Someone I Used To Know is a book that will grab you from the first page and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it’ Noemi, read her full review here.
‘This is such a beautiful, emotional story that captivated me from the start. Paige Toon has once again produced a breath-taking story about love, loss, and how family comes in all shapes and sizes’ Victoria, read her full review here.
‘Beautifully written, with natural, fluid dialogue throughout. I was totally invested in the story of Leah, Theo and (gorgeous!) George; I genuinely didn’t want it to end’ Dee, read her full insta post here.
‘If you’re already a Paige Toon fan, then stop deliberating and just read this, as it’s easily one of her best books, full of depth that had me on the verge of tears a few times, such was the brilliance of the turn of phrase’ Rachel, read her full review here.