Days of Wonder

34460802

 

 

 In the beautiful, funny and moving second novel by the author of A Boy Made of Blocks, a father and his daughter discover that stories can save lives. 

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. 

‘Utterly enchanting . . . a truly beautiful story’ 

Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things 

‘So powerful, yet incredibly gentle and poignant. Utterly and completely beautiful’ 

 

Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep 

 

About the author

 

 

 

Keith Stuart is an author and journalist. His heartwarming debut novel, A Boy Made of Blocks, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and a major bestseller, and was inspired by Keith's real-life relationship with his autistic son. Keith has written for publications including EmpireRed and Esquire magazine, and is the former games editor of the Guardian. He lives with his wife and two sons in Frome, Somerset. 

 

 

Keith Stuart on Days of Wonder 

Days of Wonder is a story about love, life and magic, but I hope it deals with all three of these things in unusual ways. After finishing A Boy Made of Blocks, I knew I wanted to write another novel about families in crisis, but this time with a very different set of characters – and a very different crisis. As a Manchester City supporter, I was greatly affected by the death of midfield player Marc-Vivien Foé from a rare form of cardiomyopathy. He was 28. Later, I noticed other news reports about the same heart condition, which often struck young people seemingly out of nowhere. I wondered how you would live your life as a teenager with such a serious condition. What would it take to get you through? 

 

The obvious answer is a lot of love and support and belief and passion. As an ex-drama student who loved my time directing and acting in plays, I thought that a small local theatre would be an interesting, supportive place for my protagonist Hannah to grow up in. I loaded her life with quirky, eccentric characters and I brought in fairy tales and comic books to accentuate the value of stories and myths in our lives. I just wanted to write this big, warm, funny book about something potentially tragic. I think in a lot of ways this comes from my own experience of grief. When my dad died of cancer in 2003, my mum, my sisters and me sat around and told each other stories about his life; we swapped memories and it was almost like we created a narrative of his life - that's how we coped. Memories are the stories we tell about our lives, and I think we all – in a lot of ways - live through stories. It's love, laughter and imagination that gets you through. This is what Days of Wonder is about. 

 

My Review

 

There simply aren't enough adjective to describe this book - it's moving, magical, emotionally draining, funny, sad, life-affirming, intelligent and so much more! The author paints such a realistic relationship between father and daughter that at times it reads more like a memoir than a novel. Dealing with the subject of a teenager with chronic heart failure is never going to be an easy read yet somehow it is. The story is never morbid thanks to the way Hannah deals with her condition. There were many laughs along with the tears but overall it's an uplifting book about making the most of now. I loved the theatre and all the shows as well as the way it all comes together for the finale. A wonderful book!

 

 

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Latest comments

27.05 | 22:25

Another amazing review, dying to get my hands on this one xxx

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27.05 | 20:42

probably the best new author I know....x x x x x x x

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27.05 | 14:17

Great review, can't wait to read over the holiday

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27.05 | 13:49

Wonderful review. Really looking forward to reading this.

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