Monday 14 November 2016

Review: it's a Wonderful Life by Julia Williams

Christmas with the family. Cosy, relaxing…and a total nightmare?
Driving home for Christmas, Beth has everything she wants. The kids and the house, the career and the husband. So why is it that when the New Year comes, she can’t stop thinking about her old college boyfriend?
Her husband Daniel is tasked with bringing a struggling school up to scratch, but when family life catches up to him, can he be a good father and a good teacher at the same time?
Beth’s sister Lou has just been dumped…again. Single and childless, she can’t help but be jealous of her sibling’s success. But is the grass really always greener?
It’s a Wonderful Life is a heart-warming novel about the lives that could have been, and what happens when you start to question the choices you made…

Review: aww this was such a lovely read. I was worried that this book would be a little too much like the film of the same name but it was definitely it's own book and something which had narrative from various different characters, something which I love! This book revolves around one family, Beth, Lou and Ged, their respective partners and their parents and children. This is definitely a real family affair and each of these characters get s a very meaty storyline of their own. Whilst the book definitely involves all three children, Lou and Beth and Beth's husband Daniel are the main characters. The whole thing is split into parts as well as chapters, with each part beginning and ending with an extract from the children book that Beth is writing about an angel in the Nativity. This was the main way that this book linked with the film, because it involved a little angel and her first task. 

I really loved the characters of Lou and Daniel, and not just because Daniel was a head teacher! I think that Lou really was the glue in this book, she brings all sorts of characters together even those you might not think would need bringin together. The whole time thou she really isn't thinking of herself and what she actually needs. Daniel was another very strong character, he is incredibly stubborn though and so that makes him very relatable and gets him into some interesting situations. I liked Beth the least, I think I didn't like the way she handled some of the things that we thrown at her or the decisions she made in her life, but it was interesting seeing her book develop and the way she interacts with others. 

There are some fab secondary characters in this book as well and the parents of all parties play a key role in the storyline. Beth and Daniel also have 2 teenage children and so that adds another dimension to the story which was interesting to follow too. I loved the way the book was structured and the multiple narratives. This book deals with divorce, coming out, complacency in relationships, working life, retired life, school life and everything in between, it really has it all. This author deals with all these issues sensitively and incredibly well. At the heart of this story though is a family coming together and supporting each other and that is what makes this novel the heartwarming Christmas story that it is! 

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