12 June 2009
Book Review: Wishful Thinking by Melissa Hill
Louise's life hasn't been the same since her horrid accident - she's constantly in pain, struggling to fit in at work and having problems with her massive debts. Dara has just married a wonderful man, but not The One. She's shocked when the real love of her life suddenly comes back into Ireland, and throws her feelings into complete disarray.
Finally, Rosie just wants to enjoy her old age and make her 2 children happy. But Rosie's children haven't turned out as she wanted them too, and she's forced to make some tough decisions. 3 women - 3 lives - 3 excellent stories in one.
As usual, Hill has managed to weave 3 seemingly different stories into the one book, yet it manages to work. What really interests me is the fact that none of the characters know each other, so she can't really create relationships between any of them but somehow it does seem to flow together very well, and with ease. The beginning is very intriguing, featuring a railway crash but we aren't given the name of the character who is hurt which I was hoping would be revealed at the end of the novel. It was a strange start, as the book then went back four months to the rest of the main story and slowly brings in each of our main characters. The crash isn't mentioned again until right at the end, and not to my satisfaction either.
The three main characters, all women, were very different but likeable in their own ways. Despite the fact they were all nice enough people, they all made some silly decisions and did get on my nerves throughout the book because of things that happened. Louise is a young girl living in the city, and living outside her means. She has enormous credit card debt but it doesn't seem to stop her going out to expensive shops and blowing a fortune. She frustrated me as she seemed so keen to be liked she was willing to let the rest of her life go down the pan, and her chapters really annoyed me. Dara's just got married and is happpy with her husband, but still hankers after the one that got away, Noah. Now any woman reading this book would love a husband like Mark, he's almost perfect so for Dora to treat him badly was very annoying and the storyline about her did annoy me again. Finally, Rosie is an older lady than our other 2 characters, and mum to 2 grown kids. However, they both treat her like absolute poo and she seems to put up with it. I almost wanted to shout at her to get a backbone and stand up to them as she was so wimpy, but I can't speak too soon as I dread to think how I'll be with Harry when he's older!
The book alternates between the stories of the three women, and it is a good way to write this book, especially considering they really are separate stories and unlinked. The characters do pop up within each others stories, but just as brief mentions, not as main plotlines within their story. The focus of the chapter changes every chapter, so you have to be on the ball when it comes to all the characters within that person's story but I didn't find this too much of a problem as Hill has kept the secondary characters to a minimum. The way it builds up towards this inevitable crash is interesting, as I was desperate to know who was involved and how it would impact their lives. This was cleverly done by Hill, and made it much more enjoyable for me and ensured I kept reading!
This book is incredibly well written, and if you love a story with a twist this is definitely one for you. It's different from your normal chick-lit because there isn't a main plot for you to get absorbed by, but the three stories definitely reel you in and wondering if there is going to be a good conclusion for any of them. The characters were good, very frustrating at times but this is the sign of a good writer when you actually have feelings towards fictional people - good or bad! I really enjoyed this book, not as much as some of her other books (Not What You Think and The Last to Know) but it's still a brilliant read - very thought-provoking, quite gritty at times and very well written.