Space Hopper / Faye Faraway by Helen Fisher, Review: Moving

Space Hopper (aka Faye, Faraway) by Helen Fisher is a highly moving time travel story heavy on heart. Read on for my full review.

Space Hopper Book Review, author Helen Fisher

Space Hopper Synopsis

This is a story about taking a leap of faith
And believing the unbelievable

They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.
I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.
Right now, you probably think I’m going mad. 
Let me explain…

Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?
Space Hopper is an original and poignant story about mothers, memories and moments that shape life.

(Simon and Schuster, February 2021; published as Faye, Faraway by Gallery Books in January 2021)

Genre: Drama, Historical, Sci-Fi-Fantasy, Mystery

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post we may earn a small commission to help offset our running costs.

Space Hopper Review

The phrase ‘for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Outlander‘ seems to be slapped onto nearly every fiction release featuring time-travel these days. So it was refreshing to find that on this occasion the comparisons are truly deserving. That science fiction concept is integral to the plot, but in Helen Fisher’s Space Hopper it is the characters and the depth of their emotional connections that shine brightest.

Source: Simon & Schuster UK

This book trailer depicts well Faye’s endearing conversational first-person narrative. At times conspiratorial, but always emotionally vulnerable, Faye routinely directly addresses the reader as though a friend she is sharing her secret with.

The Space Hopper storyline begins deceptively simply; deep and meaningful characterisation being the central driver. And, there really are some wonderful characters to get to know as you ride shotgun with Faye… The unique perspective of her blind friend and confidante Louis one of my personal favourites. However, by this novel’s page-turning conclusion, I was left impressed by its hidden plot complexities also.

Faye, Faraway Review - Helen Fisher - US Book Cover
Faye, Faraway – US Cover

We keep stuff in order to hang on to what’s important, but it’s an illusion. My pain at the thought of throwing away those stones is my pain at losing those days with my daughters. The pain of knowing that one day I will look back and they will be so far in the past that I’ll feel like a balloon that has silently unravelled itself from the hand that’s holding it, and drifted out of reach into the sky.

In this uncommonly captivating and moving narrative, Helen Fisher tackles some tricky philosophical questions around memory, psychology and faith. She also takes an interesting slant on a genre trope.

Space Hopper is an emotionally engaging and ultimately life-affirming novel; and a very strong debut.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

Get your copy of Space Hopper / Faye, Faraway from:

Amazon Bookshop US Book Depository Booktopia AU
OR listen to the audiobook FREE with Audible’s Trial (check eligibility)

More Faye, Faraway / Space Hopper Reviews

‘A lovely, deeply moving story of loss and love and memory made real. The sort of book that makes you feel the tenderness of joy restored, and the tearing pain of a choice between the two halves of your heart.’  – Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

“I really enjoyed Faye, Faraway. It’s such an unusual, intriguing novel… the first in ages that actually *interested* me.”—Marian Keyes, Sushi For Beginners

‘Enchanting… Fisher’s achingly authentic characters leap off the page and capture readers’ hearts. This addictive, emotionally heavy page-turner marks a delightful spin on the time travel genre.’  – Publishers Weekly

“Readers interested in pondering the basis of faith will find much to contemplate in this story.”—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author, Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher spent her early life in America but grew up mainly in Suffolk, England, where she now lives with her two children. She studied psychology at Westminster University and ergonomics at University College London, and worked as a senior evaluator in research at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. Faye, Faraway is her first novel. 

  • Helen Fisher discusses her journey to finding a literary agent with Jericho Writers.
  • The term “space hopper” is more common in the United Kingdom; the toy is less familiar in the United States, and may be known as a “hoppity hop“, “hippity hop” or a “sit n bounce”.

* Receiving an advanced review copy from the publisher did not impact the expression of my honest opinions above.