Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart
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.
It's publication day for the long awaited second novel by Keith Stuart. His debut novel, A Boy Made of Bricks was my book of the year,I loved it.
This second book will make you laugh and cry throughout and can we just take a moment to appreciate the wonderful cover of this book,it's magical.
When Hannah was three years old her mother left, saying she just wasn't cut out for family life.
When Hannah was five years old she was diagnosed with a life limiting heart condition. Tom, her father has tried to make her life special and magical,always trying to make up for the loss of her mother and her medical condition.
Tom is the manager of a small local theatre and Hannah has spent her childhood growing up in the theatre, the members of the drama club are like a family to her.
Every year on Hannah's birthday the theatre group produce a play for her,usually one of her favourite fairy tales. This year she will be sixteen and that's not what she wants anymore. She wants to be independent, to make her own choices,to be a teenager,not to be sick.
This book is full of great characters who pull at the your heartstrings. Margaret, from the theatre club who at eighty one years old tells stories of her life treading the boards but no one knows if they are true or just part of her storytelling. She's also a best friend to Hannah.
Tom, the wonderful father who no matter what he does cannot magic away his daughter's diagnosis or bring her mother back. Hannah, who is typical teenager and I went from loving her to being really annoyed with her then loving her again.
When things go wrong at the theatre and it is in danger of closing Hannah takes matters into her own hands to save her dad from worrying and her true colours shine through.
There are many funny parts of this story, like Hannah trying to get her dad into the world of online dating, his dates are hilarious.
This is such a lovely story with a sad thread running through it. Even in the funny moments that sadness is always lurking in the background. I cried buckets at the end.
The story unfolds with alternate chapters from Tom and Hannah which work well as we get to know how they each feel around each situation.
This is the second book from Keith Stuart whose first book A Boy Made of Blocks was my book of the year in 2016. It is big and very thick and will take a while to read but I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Days of Wonder is published today the 7th June.