Having read another of Melissa Hill's books and been hooked from start to finish I was thrilled to spot this one of the bargain shelf in a local supermarket, and it was quickly swept into my trolley.
- - - - PLOT - -
The story begins on an early morning commuter train into Dublin City, which the same as every morning is crammed to the brim with passengers trying to get to work on time. Sadly due to a technical fault the train comes to a horrifying stop, with devastating consequences for some of it's passengers.
Then in nostalgic style we are sent back in time to meet our three main characters, and see exactly what their lives were like before the day of the train crash.
We meet Rosie who is struggling to understand how after she and her husband worked tirelessly to bring their children up to be polite, well mannered and decent adults that they have turned out to be quite the opposite. There's daughter Sophie who wants everything right now, without wanting to work for anything, and son David who has become a person she doesn't know with his violent angry outbursts and the temperament of a bear with a sore head.
Dara who is newly married to the ever wonderful Mark, can't seem to be happy in her relationship. She keeps thinking back to her Mr right, the one who got away if you will. The gorgeous Noah, the first man she ever loved and the yard stick that all previous men have failed to live up to. So why did she marry Mark? This is a question Dara continually struggles with, especially when the absent from the country for over a year Noah, suddenly appears back into her life.
Last but not least of the three main characters is fun loving girl about town Louise. From the outside she has it all, cool friends, a designer wardrobe to rival any IT girl and she is living it up sipping Bellini's in the hottest hangouts in Dublin. She doesn't have problems surely? If only life was so simple, Louise is swimming in a pool of debt that she has no way of scrabbling herself out of before she drowns. That is unless she does something that is totally against her principles.
- - OPINION - -
As mentioned at the start of this review this is the second of Melissa Hill's books I have read, and I am yet to be disappointed.
There is something about her writing that captures you and draws you in from the very beginning, it is very descriptive but without leaving you feeling that you are being bogged down with information.
Also the way the characters are written makes them very engaging, and whether you love them or hate them you find yourself wanting to know what happens in their lives.
I found that Dara was a character who's life I really got caught up in, and I think it may have had something to do with me being in a relationship that I wasn't sure was working because of still having feelings for someone else, and I found it so interesting seeing the insight her characters reasoning gave me. I think that's the beauty of a good character, that sometimes you see a glimpse of yourself in them and relate to their story.
I loved the idea of the story happening somewhat in reverse, as it really kept me guessing through the whole book about who was going to end up injured, or whether one of the women wasn't going to make it at all.
All things considered another fantastic five star effort from Melissa Hill, anyone who likes their chick lit with a little bit of something other than the typical boy meet girls and falls in love romance then definitely one to check out .
PAGES - 373
PRICE - £6.99 can be found on amazon for £4.99
ISBN - 9780340953440
WEBSITE - www.melissahill.info
Melissa Hill is one of my favourite authors and I always look forward to reading her books as I know that I will enjoy them and be hooked in from the very first page! This was also the case with Wishful Thinking which I have just finished reading and loved from the first page to the last!
Melissa Hill always creates such wonderful characters. In this book there are three main characters and although they seem unrelated they are linked because they often take the same train into Dublin on certain days - a train that unfortunately crashes one morning with a number of fatalities. I am not spoiling anything by saying this as this happens during the first few pages of the book. The reader is then taken back in time to learn all about the lives of Dara, Louise and Rosie - the three women on the train. As you are reading about them and getting to know and like them, you do not actually know what happened to each of them on that fateful day. This is a great way for the book to start as all the way through you have the crash at the back of your mind and you desperately want to find out if they could have survived.
Each of the three women has a different story to be told and none of their lives are perfect. Dara has recently married Mark who she loves very much but she can't help thinking about Noah, her first and deepest love. In her mind, Mark will always be second best. Louise is very much the young girl about town enjoying an extravagant lifestyle that she cannot afford. As her debts continue to mount, she pins all her hopes on a compensation claim for an accident she was involved in a few years ago.
Rosie's story was the one that I found most absorbing and most moving though. She was widowed a couple of years ago and although she has two grown up children she hardly sees them unless they want something from her. Her self-absorbed daughter Sophie persuades her to sign over the deeds of her house in order to help her and her husband buy one that they cannot really afford. Rosie cannot help but notice that Sophie can still afford to buy expensive sports cars and designer clothes though. When Rosie's son David comes home to stay with her after separating from his wife she really looks forward to spending time with him. However as soon as he walks in he is rude and obnoxious and before long Rosie feels that she is having to creep around her own home so as not to upset him at any moment.
For very different reasons, all three women are at an extremely difficult point in their lives and sometimes it would be easy to wish for a way out from it all...
I thought that all three of these main characters were depicted brilliantly and I really felt for them all. As you are reading you feel as if you are getting to know them better and better and I know that I really started to care about what was going to happen to them.
Wishful Thinking is a really well written book and the pace and tension increases well at the end. The three women's stories are shared out well with each getting a couple of chapters before the story moves on to the next one. I also noticed that towards the end the characters became shorter and punchier and I really wanted to read on. In fact I read late into the night (and well past my bedtime) on the day that I finished it as I just did not want to put it down!
Melissa Hill is well known for providing a twist or two in her stories so I guess that having read a few I was actually expecting the unexpected. However you can never second guess this author because you might think you know where the story is going but you will be wrong. That is what makes all her books such enticing reads!
Wishful Thinking is published by Hodder and the paperback has a RRP of £6.99. With just under 400 pages it is just the right length too!
A few years ago, my nan lent me a couple of books by new Irish author Melissa Hill. I absolutely loved them, but then forgot about her when I got into other authors and so missed quite a few of her book releases. Luckily I was reminded of her work when I saw she had a new book out late last year called 'Wishful Thinkig' (this was released a few years ago in Ireland so isn't really "new") and I reserved my copy at the library. I was hoping it would be as good as those first few of her novels I had read, and luckily I wasn't disappointed at all!
Wishful Thinking follows the lives of 3 women, all about to make life-changing discoveries which will really rock their worlds. 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.
ISBN: 978-0340953440. Published by Hodder in November 2008.
Amazon Price: £4.22 (Jan. 09)
Author website: http://www.melissahill.info
Thank you for reading.