Two Tribes by Fearne Hill

First loves, second chances and class divides in Two Tribes.

From the blurb:

It’s 1995, and troubled seventeen-year-old Matt Leeson harbours three passions: indie music, wartime
history, and the posh boy he sits next to in maths class. Not in that order. One of those passions is closely guarded, along with a few other secrets Matt tucks away. Such as his abusive father, the cramped run-down flat he calls home, and the futility of his dreams to escape both.

Twenty-five years later, and plodding Dr Alex Valentine, recently divorced, is looking back on a life less lived. On his failed marriage and the dull bore he’s become, on the empty, lonely weekends stretching ahead. And, in a corner of his mind, wondering what could have been, if only a slender, raven-haired young man hadn’t so abruptly vanished all those years ago.

First love. Teenage love. It should be nothing more than an opening chapter, right? A short prologue even, before the real test of adulthood begins.

But what if that chapter never closes?

Trigger warnings: written with a light touch but please be kind to yourselves and observe trigger warnings for: death of a secondary character, depression, domestic abuse (off page), self-harm (off page), attempted suicide (off page)

Sheena's Review:

I love Fearne Hil's books. I've been a massive fan since the first Rossingley book and each time a new release comes out I'm dying to read. This was no exception.

I went in knowing it was going to be very different to anything else she has written, and it was. She hasn't shied away in previous books from hard topics like bereavement and chronic illness, and she certainly didn't here either.

I read the first part of the book with dual feelings of nostalgia, and gathering dread. Nostalgia as while this is set after my own school days, a lot of that didn't change very much no matter where you were in the UK. I guess my own tribe would have been somewhere between Matt and Alex but there was always that class divide, and that never really changed. Gathering dread as I knew there wasn't going to be that happy ending so soon, and I could feel something coming like storm clouds gathering, yet I couldn't tear myself away from the story, it was just too good.

I loved Matt right away. He had a shit life, no other way of describing it, and I loved seeing him get that tiny bit of happiness with Alex that they could snatch together. I hated that he was so utterly hopeless for his future but that's the reality sometimes, it doesn't always work out how you want. I liked Alex too, and I loved how they were together.

The second half of the book is also tough in places, it shows the reality of chronic depression without sugar coating anything, and not getting the proper help so he could be diagnosed properly and get the help he needed so badly.

I won't lie, this is a tough read in more than a few places, but it's also funny, and uplifting too when you see Matt with Alex and his son, especially. There is light at the end of the darkness, you just have to get there, which is easier said than done.

Two Tribes made me laugh, cry, and think and that's a rare gift in a book sometimes.

Rating: 5 Stars

Two Tribes is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription


  1. Thank You for helping me find new to me Authors!!

  2. Great review! I loved this book so much!


Post a Comment