Monday 13 March 2017

Review: The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

Review: This was such a fabulous book to be absorbed in over a weekend and definitely one to banish those rainy springtime blues. Milly Johnson has a great gift of being able to weave serious issues and humour together with the help of characters you can easily relate to and relationships you can easily fall in love with and this book is a great example of that. This is a great book for die-hard Milly fans but also fabulous if this is your first foray into the wonderfully Yorkshire world that this author creates!

I was definitely hooked on this story right from the word go and found it really difficult to put down once I had picked it up. The story surrounds two people who are going through a great deal of changes in their lives and they each get a chapter at a time to deal with their own personal stories and then sometimes their tales overlap and we get to see the way they react to each other as well as the way they deal with their issues on their own, I loved this structure and it made for a very easy read. 

This book also deals with the antiques business and a little bit with the law, both of which I have limited knowledge of, but this wasn't a problem, as I was afraid it might be. I came away from the book feeling like a knew a little bit more about both and I really do look at the antiques industry in a completely different light now. I think if you have any interest in the business of antiques then this is definitely a must-read for you, but if you are new to that whole aspect of life, Milly will guide you through it, don't you worry. 

The issues of domestic violence, divorce, miscarriage and starting again from scratch are all covered in this book and yet you don't feel like this is a book about 'issues' and those things aren't forced down your throat at any point. Because this book has such strong main characters, these things are happening but are just a part of their lives and you get to deal with them alongside the characters so nothing seems to heavy or unnecessarily dramatic. 

Speaking of those characters, I loved those two main characters. Bonnie is a woman who is stronger than she realises and it was wonderful watching her grow and develop over the course of the book. She doesn't appreciate the sunshine that she brings into the lives of those around her and it is great seeing how she affects her friends and colleagues. Lew also doesn't seem to realise how strong he is. I loved how laid back he was throughout the whole of the book. I would love to have a boss like him and I really enjoyed seeing his transformation as the book went on. 

There were some seriously funny moments in this bit, particularly the misprinted newspaper headlines and captions that are interspersed throughout the pages. There were also a few moments when this book made me cry, sometimes through happiness and sometimes through sadness, but being able to laugh and cry at the same read is the sign of a truly good book and that's just what this is! I love how typically Yorkshire some of the phrases are and they were just the icing on the cake for me in what was a fantastic read and another win for Milly Johnson. 

To get your fabulously Yorkshire copy, click here!

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