Do you believe in fate? I certainly do.
I had seen this book floating around on Twitter and heard snippets of reviews. As I was due to go on holiday a few days later, I didn’t have time to order it. When I popped into Tesco on my lunch the Thursday before I was set to travel on Friday, and saw the familiar yellow cover on the shelf priced up at £2.50. I couldn’t say no.
I took it as it was ‘meant to be’, which ironically, is what the book is based heavily upon.
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams is a love story that has you turning every page desperate to discover the fate of Nadia and Daniel.
The two commuters catch the same tube every day – well, if Nadia isn’t late – and Daniel admires from afar. Their paths will cross so many times, but they never truly meet.
William’s asks “what if you almost missed the love of your life?” It makes me think of all the times Jake and I must have crossed paths or almost met, before we actually did. Like the Johnny Marr gig we both had tickets to back in 2013, three years before we met each other.
One day, Daniel takes the plunge and sends a post into the local paper in the ‘Missed Connections’ section. A feature not to dissimilar to the kind of things you see in Cosmopolitan, where commuters try to get back in touch with someone that caught their eye on the tube.
The post reads: “To the devastatingly cute blonde girl on the Northern Line with the black designer handbag and coffee stains on her dress… I’m the guy standing near the doors of your carriage, hoping today’s the day you haven’t overslept. Drink sometime?”
My inner hopeless romantic has swooned through the entirety of Our Stop. I was willing Nadia and Daniel to meet every time they could be in the same bar, the same event or that time Nadia’s friends Emma nearly runs his friends over. But, there’s always something that gets in the way.
Our Stop has made me gag, cry, laugh and given me goosebumps every time I felt true love oozing from the pages. I was as invested in the ‘#OurStop’ couple as their fictional Twitter fanbase, also reading their back and forth Missed Connections messages in the daily papers as Nadia searches for the mystery man.
Funnily enough, a week or so after reading the book, my city found itself with its very own Our Stop couple. Read about how Hayley had her toe stepped on by ‘Adam’ on the train and now wants to find him again here.
The short chapters narrated as a fly-on-the-wall flits between following Daniel, Nadia, and on one occasion – Eddie. I love how it darts from Nadia to Daniel, sharing the details of each scene from their respective viewpoints. Equally, William’s paints a really vivid picture of the scenes. For most of the seven hour car journey down the M5, I felt like I was in the bar or apartment with them.
The modern, feminist rom-com will have you giggling, rooting, whooping and racing through the pages to see how fate works in mysterious ways. It’s so heart-warming and exciting to think that your soulmate is/was out there, existing in a time where you too exist. To think you may have brushed shoulders, or stood behind them in a coffee shop queue – that’s truly life-affirming.