Days of Wonder
(Review written on 26/05/2020)
I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to explain to you how this heart-wrenching story is also uplifting and inspiring! I’m sure if you’ve already read it you will understand what I mean. If you haven’t read it yet, then you really should. It is so beautifully written.
I LOVED Keith Stuart’s A Boy Made of Blocks, which I read and reviewed in October 2016, so I was very much looking forward to reading Days of Wonder. Keith Stuart is an amazing writer and I know I could buy one his books, without even reading the blurb, and be confident that I will thoroughly enjoy whatever story he is telling.
Days of Wonder introduces us to Hannah and Tom. Hannah is Tom’s teenage daughter. He has brought her up singlehandedly since her mother left them a decade previously to pursue her career. I absolutely adored Hannah and Tom. Their relationship is just so lovely. A very realistic father/daughter relationship which isn’t without it’s ups and downs. Not least as Hannah has a serious heart condition which they both struggle to deal with at times, understandably. Hannah has her moments, but generally prefers for life to carry on as normal as possible. She does, however, try not to focus too far into the future. She lives for now, which we all should really. None of us knows how long we will have on this earth, but to be faced with your own mortality so starkly must be so scary. I admired her bravery and strength. Tom obviously can’t help but feel extra protective of her and quite terrified a lot of the time. I can’t even begin to imagine! He always treats Hannah with the respect she deserves though which I found totally endearing.
There is so much I loved about this story. I loved the fascinating array of characters, all of whom add depth to the story. I loved Hannah’s friendship with Margaret. I loved how she so desperately wants her Dad to find new love and happiness. I love how Tom and their theatre group put on a show for every one of Hannah’s Birthday’s as she grows up. I love that none of them are prepared to give up on their beloved theatre. I loved Hannah’s relationship with Callum. I loved her letters to Willow……. I loved it all! It made me cry so many tears, but it also made me smile equally as often.
The epilogue just broke my heart but made me love Tom even more.
A highly emotional, thought-provoking, stunningly beautiful story. One I am sure will stay with me for a long time to come.
My favourite line (which had tears streaming down my face) –
(Hannah) ‘Thank you,’ she said. ‘There was always magic and wonder in my life.’
*Many thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy via Netgalley*