Hubert Bird is an 84-year-old widower living in Bromley. Every week his daughter Rose calls from Australia, and he entertains her with stories of his friends. Only one problem – he’s lying. So when Rose tells him she’s coming to visit, he realizes he’s got a limited time to make some real friends, perhaps starting with the new neighbor, a single woman, and her daughter. The story jumps back and forth and time, where we learn that he once had a wife named Joyce, a best friend named Gus, and a son named David in his life. What happened to them? And what will happen to Hubert as he’s slowly roped into a town-wide anti-loneliness crusade. This story, equal parts sad, happy, and funny, also shines a light on the indignities that a Jamaican immigrant would have suffered in London. Hubert’s spirit, despite numerous incidents that would break another person, is what keeps him going, the same spirit that makes All the Lonely People compelling reading.— Daniel Goldin
If you loved A Man Called Ove, then prepare to be delighted as Jamaican immigrant Hubert rediscovers the world he'd turned his back on this "warm, funny" novel (Good Housekeeping).In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Birdpaints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship, and fulfillment. But it's a lie. In reality, Hubert's days are all the same, dragging on without him seeing a single soul.
Until he receives some good news—good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on. The news that his daughter is coming for a visit.
Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship, and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .
Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows, will he ever get to live the life he's pretended to have for so long?
About the Author
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. After earning a Sociology degree, he moved to London to become a journalist and ended up as an advice columnist for a teenage girls' magazine before becoming Features Editor for another teen magazine. He has written for a variety of publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and Cosmo.Mike became a full- time novelist in 1997 and has written thirteen novels, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. After stints in London and Manchester, Mike now resides in Birmingham with his wife, two kids, and a rabbit.
“Hubert Bird is a gentle hero and I loved him. A book that is perfect for the times we live in, but also one to treasure for many years to come.”—Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things
“A winning tale…Readers will be touched.”—Publishers Weekly