Blog Tour: The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

Book Review: The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

Fiction: The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

Blog Tour: March 27, 2023


One night, a strange meteor crossed the skies over Edinburgh. That same night, sixteen people experienced a major stroke. On any given night, one or two might present at the hospital with a stroke. Sixteen is extraordinary. Neither were these the typical patients for a stroke. Most of them were young, seemingly in fine health, no warning signs at all. Eight of those patients died. Five more were hospitalized with severe complications.


Three woke up fully recovered.


Lennox, a mixed-race teen, had been heading to the children’s home where he lived. Ava, a math teacher in Lennox’s high school, was fleeing her manipulative husband. Heather, dying of a brain tumor, had decided to kill herself by walking into the sea. Instead, the three of them began an incredible journey together, bound by their survival and by their mutual connection to the strange being that landed. Reminiscent of an octopus, “Sandy” had washed up on the beach (after rescuing Heather) and formed a mental bond with these three unlikely individuals.


Seeking to help Sandy, the three of them flee the police, Ava’s abusive husband, and a mysterious group of men who seem to know more about the situation than anyone else. Aided along the way by a journalist looking for more than just a story, they take Sandy and run. What they aren’t entirely sure of is whether they are running from their past, or running toward their future.


Doug Johnstone is better known to me as the author of the wonderful and quirky amateur detective series about The Skelfs, a family that runs both a funeral home and an investigative agency. This book is at first glance as different as could be: science fiction vs. mystery, family group vs. total strangers, etc. Looking deeper, though, Johnstone is all about the characters. All three of Sandy’s companions are essentially alone: Lennox was abandoned as an infant, Ava is almost a prisoner in her own home at the hands of her husband, Heather is divorced. All three of them were also suffering major physical stressors (Ava is in her third trimester during the course of the book).


Essentially, this is an origin story for a found family. Each of them needs the others. They may have been pulled together by a force none of them can understand. What grows throughout the story is another very powerful force that we probably don’t really understand but hopefully all of us have experienced: love.


Our thanks to Anne Cater for our copy of The Space Between Us, given so we could take part in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers on this tour.

The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

Book Review: The Space Between Us, Doug Johnstone

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