With a thick blanket of snow on the ground outside it is the perfect time to hibernate with a good Christmas book. Mandy Baggot typically publishes two books a year – one set in Greece for the summer holidays and the other is a feel-good festive story. This latest book is a real return to form and that may be because she really is writing from the heart here.
Anna Heath is a divorced single mum to Ruthie. She adores her beautiful daughter but life is not without its challenges because Ruthie is autistic. She sees the world differently to other people and this in turn affects the way that she allows other people to interact with her. You get the feeling that ex husband Ed just couldn’t cope with the added complexity of living with an autistic child. Anna has given up on the idea of dating and just concentrates on giving Ruthie the best life she possibly can and they are surrounded by a bevy of friends in the leafy suburb of Richmond.
Sam Jackman is just about to take the next giant leap in an already stellar American Football career when he receives life changing news. The kind of news that will kill his future prospects stone dead. In a state of shock he packs a bag and heads to the airport. He has no idea where he is going and ends up on a flight to London. A chance encounter with a cab driver sees him wandering the streets of a snow covered pre Christmas Richmond where he literally bumps into Anna and Ruthie. Feeling responsible for his injuries they offer him a couch for the night.
Wishing On A Star is a very poignant book that deals very sensitively with both the response to a serious life changing medical condition and the way that society in general misunderstands the needs of people with autism. Mandy has a teen with autism and a lot of the experiences that Anna and Ruthie have in the story have happened in her own home. Her teen was consulted to ensure that they were happy with the way that Ruthie and her issues were portrayed. All of this makes you think that it might be a desperately sad serious book but it really isn’t. There is a lot of Christmas joy to be found in these pages and the story of Anna, Sam and Ruthie makes your heart sing! It is a perfect Christmas holiday read.
(In the UK it is currently free to read with an Amazon Prime membership or just 99p on Kindle).
Supplied by Net Galley and Embla Books in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication date: Oct 10 2022. 373 pages.
Categories: 4 Stars Book Review
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.
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