When I was asked to review this book and participate in the book blog tour ,I jumped at the opportunity as soon as the words, “written by Keith Stuart” was mentioned.
Keith Stuart the author of the amazing, A Boy Made of Blocks book, those who have followed my blog for a while will probably remember my review of his debut book – click the link to find out about the book that really caused a stir and the book opened my eyes to a new genre (I was pretty much a purely chick-lit reader, I thought i’d only enjoy books with a female protagonist – Keith Stuart proved me wrong! 😀
The only problem with finding a new favourite author, is that you wonder if their next offering will live up to your now high expectations…Well, read on to find out more…
Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.
But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that both of them know will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen on the brink of adulthood, that time is coming.
With the theatre under threat of closure, Hannah and Tom have more than one fight on their hands to stop the stories ending. But maybe, just maybe, one final day of magic might just save them both.
The story is told by both Tom and Hannah in alternate chapters, I love when books are written like this as you get to delve deeper into the minds of the character, knowing what they truly feel, but when it’s more than one character, you get the additional benefit of seeing the same situation from their unique point-of-view.
As a parent, I really felt for Tom, he really wants to protect his daughter, Hannah and now she’s a teenager and doing her best to live a ‘normal’ life and although dealing as bravely as she can with her health problems, which are worsening, she still has the same urges, wants and needs as other 15yr old girls her age and with no real ‘mother’ around the sole responsibility is with Tom.
Tom, as many single parents do, (I did too) put their own personal lives on hold and focus on their child(ren), work/money. At least Tom has the theatre world to immerse himself into and the theatre bunch are like a mis-matched crazy extended family that I wish I could meet in real life, especially Margaret!
I really admire Hannah’s mature attitude towards her illness, although she’s been dealing with it for a long time, it would be so easy for her to be totally pessimistic, depressed and wallow in self-pity (not many would blame her) but she gets out there and embraces life with as much gusto a her fragile body will let her. I love that she makes the most of her ‘extended theatre family’ and particularly impressed with the loving relationship she has with her dad, Tom.
The father/daughter relationship is absolutely adorable, I got so invested in them, I actually truly care.
The ups and downs of the story bring on a range of emotions throughout this book – on more than one occasion I felt absolute fear, for a couple of characters – then had to remind myself that “It’s not real, it’s fiction” LOL.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are so many laughs and happy tears moments throughout the book.
Themes covered in this book include; Single parenthood, teenage crushes, depression and mental health, marriage, divorce, friendship and so much more.
I recommend this book if you want a great book that you can get your teeth into, it’s not a fluffy read – it has some real substance, but is not overly long or dragged out.
Enjoyed it immensely <3
Well done to Keith Stuart for yet another surefire masterpiece!
Also, check out the other reviews on the blog tour this week (See below)