Review: I am a great fan of Debbie Johnson's delightful and hilarious romantic comedies. However, this story is something very different from her. I started the book with an open mind as to the subject matter, but ended up gripped by a tale which had me crying and laughing in equal measures. It is an incredibly powerful and moving story, skilfully written.
There are only really five main characters in the book. Actress Andrea Barnard knows she has little time left on this earth and enlists long time friend and lawyer Lewis to help her in a scheme to bring together her daughters, Poppy and Rose, who have been estranged for most of their adult life. Her plan involves the creation of a list - The A to Z of Everything - of messages and tasks that she hopes will help them deal with their grief and, in doing so, find a way to forgive each other for what has happened in the past. Rose's son, Joe, who was very fond of his grandmother, joins them in their journey.
Although I was doubtful as to whether I would enjoy this book, I found it both uplifting and heartwarming. Andrea's love for her daughters and anguish at their long separation is evident on every page. Even though it sounds a very sombre subject, and, indeed, I would be amazed if anyone could read the book without dissolving into tears at some point, there is also a great deal of humour within. Some of the tasks Andrea sets for her girls are hilarious. I would recommend this novel to anyone, whether established fans of Debbie Johnson or new to her work.
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