500 MILES FROM YOU - Jenny Colgan
ISBN 10: 0062911422
London and Kirrinfief, Scotland - Present Day
Lissa Westcott is a nurse working for the National Health Service in a gritty area of London. As she leaves a patient's home after treatment, she witnesses a horrific incident that has left her, normally a strong person, a wreck. Concerned for her mental well-being, as much for her physical safety, Lissa is sent to rural Scotland in an exchange program for three months. She will have to testify in court about the tragedy at some point.
Cormac MacPherson is a nurse in Kirrinfief, a tiny village in the Highlands near Loch Ness. He, too, has had some history dealing with tragedy as an ex-military medic, so he wonders how going to London is going to help that? He's always been a small-town boy with little big city experience.
Arriving in Kirrinfief, Lissa is immediately aware that her arrival has been anticipated by the tiny community who are all, obviously, Cormac's friends. He has kindly allowed her to stay in his cottage, and Lissa wonders how on earth she will survive so far from Starbucks and the London bustle. She also is required by the NHS to Skype with a psychologist to deal with what she witnessed in London. Her state of mind is far from calm, and she's not bothered to read Cormac's various emails about his patients and the area where she will be working. In fact, she hasn't done much to alert him as to his duties either.
London is a madhouse compared to Kirrinfief, and Cormac is a bit surprised to find himself in Lissa's tiny room that she has in the nurses' home where she and others live. Her friends are somewhat helpful but traversing the London streets initially has Cormac in a tizzy.
Eventually, Lissa and Cormac text each other to ask questions. Lissa initially has some trouble fitting into the tight-knit community, giving the impression that she is aloof. But soon, making friends, she realizes that this is probably the best place for her to wrap her head around what happened in London. And she begins to wonder what Cormac is like after their texts turn humorous and a tad more personal. Cormac can tell that Lissa is relaxing the longer she is in his hometown and fantasizes about what she looks like.
Both Lissa and Cormac have lots of emotional issues to deal with. How will they handle their new, if temporary, lives, and what will happen if, or when, they meet in person? There are some poignant events, but there is also plenty of humor as both Lissa and Cormac come to grips with their new jobs. Their emails and texts are fun to read.
500 MILES FROM YOU is a fun, relaxing read that tells a sweet story.