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Days of Wonder: From the Richard & Judy Book Club bestselling author of A Boy Made of Blocks
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Days of Wonder: From the Richard & Judy Book Club bestselling author of A Boy Made of Blocks (Hardback)

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'A story of life, love and hope - the perfect antidote to today's world. Phenomenal'


The incredible, life-affirming new novel by the author of the Richard & Judy Book Club Bestseller A Boy Made of Blocks for fans of Matt Haig and Jojo Moyes.

Tom, devoted single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On each of her birthdays, its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for her - a day of wonder. However hard life gets, all Tom wants to do is make every moment magical for her.

Now, as Hannah begins to spread her wings, the theatre comes under threat of closure and the two could lose one another. But maybe, just maybe, one final day of magic might just save them both.

A story about finding joy in everyday life, Days of Wonder is the most beautiful and uplifting novel you'll read all year.

'Days of Wonder is a heartwarming and magical story. A wonderful read' LIBBY PAGE, AUTHOR OF THE LIDO

'So powerful, yet incredibly gentle and poignant. Utterly and completely beautiful' JOANNA CANNON

'Utterly enchanting . . . a truly beautiful story' RUTH HOGAN

'This is the most emotionally powerful book we've read all year' HEAT

'Tugs at your heart' DAILY MAIL

'Fans of Jojo Moyes' Me Before You will love Days of Wonder. Made me laugh and cry in turn' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

'A lovely, funny and very moving novel' SUN

'It's a long time since a book made me laugh out loud and cry so much' TRACY REES

'A beautiful read' CLOSER

'The publishing sensation of the year' MAIL ON SUNDAY ON A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS

'An uplifting read, full of humour and heart' SUNDAY MIRROR


'Beautiful. Powerful. Emotional. Heartwarming. Bold. Touching. Heartbreaking. Wonderful. Outstanding. Brave. A must buy. A must read' BETWEEN THE PAGES BOOK CLUB

'I didn't think Keith's novel A Boy Made of Blocks could be topped, but he's done it' GOODREADS REVIEWER

'This is a truly wonderful story, and I recommend it to anyone with a heart - broken or otherwise' GOODREADS REVIEWER

'I can't stress how amazing this book is. I truly believe that 2018's must-read novel has arrived'WHISPERING STORIES

'Catapulted itself into my top five reads of all time' GOODREADS REVIEWER

'Brilliantly done and backed up with a cast of lovely characters. I adore this book' GOODREADS REVIEWER

'Just wonderful, a delicately finished story full of joy, loyalty, heartache and love' GOODREADS REVIEWER

'Keith Stuart is fast emerging as one of the UK's great emotive writers when it comes to finding the beauty in everyday life' BEN VEAL WRITES

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publication Date: 07/06/2018 ISBN-13: 9780751563313  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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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 Empire, Red and Esquire, and is the former games editor of the Guardian. He lives with his wife and two sons in Frome, Somerset.

More books by Keith Stuart

Customer Reviews

“There is such a thing as magic”. A great opening line. This is a book about magic. Not just the magic that you find in fairy tales and fantasy books, or even with comic book heroes – all of which get a mention. “I just mean the idea that incredible things are possible, and that they can be conjured into existence through will, effort and love.” This is the magic of stories, of people, of life and living. The book alternates chapter between two narrators; Tom – devoted father, actor and theatre manager; and Hannah – daughter with serious heart condition. Hannah, like all seriously ill children, is a fully mature adult at age fifteen. The Days of Wonder begin with her fifth birthday, immediately following her diagnosis, when Tom gets his amateur dramatic group to create a faerie cavalcade outside Hannah’s window at night. Thereafter, every birthday comes with a newly produced (by Hannah and Tom) fairy tale acted out at the Willow Tree Theatre. Hannah’s mother disappeared when she was three, but the theatre and its amateur dramatic group become her family. One of the strongest things about this book is its characters – not just Tom and Hannah – but all the theatre troupe get to play their parts. Everyone should have a Margaret in their lives. Someone with risqué anecdotes of their former life, that may or may not be true, but are always wonderful to hear, and who is always willing to listen, and to talk about any topic – including death – with a teenager (“It’s weird, but when we talk about life and more specifically its unavoidable conclusion, we do it as equals – we don’t bother to reassure each other. No one else in my life does that – they feel they have to protect me from any mention of death. Or more accurately, protect themselves.”). There is Ted, an accountant, who really wants to be a lion tamer. Actually, I made that bit up, but he does want to spice up his life by travelling around Europe in a classic motorcycle sidecar (with or without his wife). Natasha sees the theatre as her escape from the stifling demands of motherhood (“She told me that living in Somerset feels like being trapped in a cross between Groundhog Day and Deliverance. I looked up Deliverance on Google – I don’t think it was a compliment”). For Sally the theatre is somewhere she can finally get to use her organisational skills, and grow in confidence. Outside of the theatre there is Callum, in whom Hannah has absolutely no interest at all. She might even believe that if she says it often enough. Like Hannah, Callum is seriously into comics. And like Hannah, he has his own health issues, as does her friend, Daisy (“Sometimes I forget she’s broken like me. While I’m hiding in the theatre or reading comics, she’s out drinking and shagging. She’s so much better at being chronically ill than I am”). Hannah knows she “could drop dead at any second” and feels unable to plan for her own future. However, she does feel the need to plan for her father’s: “When you’re this sick, you learn really fast that you have to protect your parents”. With the connivance of Sally, Hannah starts to set up some blind dates for Tom – none of which go as planned. I got so invested in the characters in this book, especially Hannah, and expected to lose her any time. I spent the first third of the book checking on how far through I was – 10% that means Hannah lives at least another 70%, 20% she has another 60% of the story to go … And then suddenly I switched, and watched her LIVE. Soon after, Tom also realised that she had grown up, and that he needed to loosen the apron strings – just a little. The story, then, got very emotional. Never saccharine. Just honest-to-goodness emotional. I started blubbing – happens very rarely, but I just could not help it. The ending is just magical – that is, the ending of the current story. The epilogue ties up some loose ends, but isn’t really needed. This is a truly wonderful story, and I recommend it to anyone with a heart – broken or otherwise. “This is what I’ve always understood about the theatre – it is a place of possibilities, of magic – it is not bound by the rules the rest of the world has to follow … life always seeks to limit you, but it can’t do that here. The world is as big as you want it to be and it lasts as long as memory”. Warning: do not read this book in public, if you are in any way shape or form emotional! I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

- 17/05/2018
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