BOOK BLOG: Maggie Harcourt

The Pieces of Ourselves: dive into history and find yourself!


“Flora doesn’t do people”, not since the Incident that led to her leaving school midway through her GCSEs. The Incident that led to her being diagnosed with bipolar II. The Incident that left her in pieces. Until Hal arrives. He’s researching a story about a missing World War I soldier, and he wants Flora’s help. Flora used to love history before the Incident, but spending so much time with Hal is her worst nightmare. Yet as they begin to piece together the life of the missing soldier, a life of lost love, secrets and lies, Flora finds a piece of herself falling for Hal.”

I’m a massive fan of Maggie Harcourt’s other books. They’ve both brought massive smiles to my face and been the joy of my life, so when I heard there was going to be another one, I was CHOMPING at the bit to get my hands on it. When it arrived, I was excited to read it and expected it to be the same as her other books, but I was surprised. Pleasantly. This book is so different and it’s SO INCREDIBLE. 

Theatrical review

Unconventional review

The Pieces of Ourselves tells the story of Flora. Flora is a young girl who has bipolar and works at a big fancy house as a housekeeper. She lives with her brother and his boyfriend. She’s not a big fan of people. She’s not had wonderful experiences with people in her past. Something happened during her GCSEs and it’s changed her perception of people. She keeps herself to herself as much as she can… that is until she is thrust into the presence of Hal, a young man who is desperate to know the story of a WW1 soldier. She’s hesitant at first, but as she gets deeper into the mystery, she knows that she needs to get to the bottom of the story. And she needs to open herself up a bit. 

I’m a proper sucker for a mystery. A well-written mystery like this one can be one of the absolute joys of my life to read. I read this book with so much curiosity because just like Hal and Flora, I wanted to know what the story behind this soldier was. I wanted to see how this very timid and quite isolated young girl would keep changing and flourishing as she followed things she loved doing. 

I really liked the honest portrayal of Flora’s bipolar in this book. It’s done really well and I think that it will be eye-opening for lots of people to read Flora’s character. You see how Flora’s brother and his partner help Flora in her times of need. You see how it affects Flora. 

This book gave me a resounding feeling of warmth. It was one of intrigue and questions. It was so lovely to read a story where the two main characters are (mostly) surrounded by love. There’s a lot of passion in this story. People doing what they’re good at. People following their passions. People getting the chance to shine at what they do best. Flora following her passions of history, even when at first she definitely didn’t want to, made me so glad. Sometimes people have to pushed into their comfort zones to really shine. 

Friends. I love Hal. OK?

I just think he’s so lovely. He’s sweet and kind. He’s curious. He’s honest. He’s guarded. He’s lovely. He’s (in my head) handsome. He’s got a passion. He’s got a story and I love that he shared his story with Flora. 

For those people asking? Yes. Yes I cried. Of course I did. What do you expect from me? 

My Goodreads review:

This book is honest and raw and interesting. It’s different and it’s curious. It made me think and it made me feel. I love Flora and Hal’s story so much. There’s so much goodness in their lives and they’re surrounded by questions. I see a bit of myself in Flora. I loved Charlie and Felix so much. Just a brilliant story that made me shocked, made me cry and made me fall a little bit in love. History and the present well and truly overlapping.

I need someone to read this book so I can FLAIL about Hal because I just love him. I have loads of other thoughts about this book but they are SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER. So just go out and buy it when it’s out (April 2nd) and then we can talk! 

Are you curious about The Pieces of Ourselves?
Do you like a mystery?
Have you read any of Maggie’s other books?

A massive thank you to the publishers, Usborne, for sending me a copy of this early. You guys sent it to me in perfect time for me to need it. 

S x 

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