Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Book review: Wish Upon a Star by Trisha Ashley


My edition: Paperback (proof copy), to be published on 7 November 2013 by Avon, 400 pages.

Description: Single mum Cally's life is all about her little girl Stella. She's resigned to the fact that the only romance she's going to get is from the rom-coms she watches, and with her busy job and her daughter, she doesn't have time to even think about love.

But life gets very tough when Stella gets sick. Balancing her job as a recipe writer and looking after Stella is all consuming, so when Cally meets handsome baker Jago the last thing she wants to do is fall in love, especially when she's been badly burned by a Prince Charming from her past.

Can laid-back, charming Jago unlock Cally's frozen heart and help her find true love and magic under the mistletoe?


Rating:



Three year-old Stella has a serious heart condition, which makes her small and fragile for her age and something as simple as the sniffles can have serious consequences for her. She has already had major surgery to try and help her as best as possible but doctors in the UK have done as much as they can and Stella's mother Cally has to face the fact that her precious little girl will not live a long and healthy life. That is, until she hears about a doctor in America who has done experimental surgery like the one Stella needs. From that moment onwards Cally's life is consumed by raising the money needed so the two of them can make the trip to Boston for this life-changing operation.

In an attempt to spruce up the Stella's Stars fund as quickly as possible Cally sells her flat in London and moves back in with her mother, who lives in the town of Sticklepond. Cally and Stella are soon embraced by the villagers who organise a whole slew of fundraising events to help them. Amongst these guardian angels is another newcomer to the area, Jago. He is a baker working for his best friend David's macaron shop until he's found the premises to open his own business making croquembouches, which is a special French wedding cake.

Jago is instantly taken by Cally and the sweet Stella but with Cally's mind so focused on getting Stella to America it leaves little time in her life and heart for romance. Add to that their selfish exes Aimee and Adam wriggling their way into Sticklepond and back into their lives - and despite the obvious mutual attraction and compatibility, the relationship between Cally and Jago seems doomed from the start.

Wish Upon a Star was written in such detail that it was very easy to visualise the village of Sticklepond and its quirky inhabitants, however it also made it slow to begin with as nothing much was happening in terms of story development. Thankfully this was only the case for the first few chapters and once I got further into the book I found myself fully immersed into the lives of Cally, Jago, Stella and the villagers. The three leading characters were absolutely wonderful to read about and I really feel like I've made some new friends while reading this novel.

I was also inspired by the kindness and generosity shown to Cally and her daughter by these virtual strangers. It was simply heartwarming and makes you remember that despite all the horrible things often dominating the headlines, there are still plenty of wonderful and honest people out there. People such as Aimee and Adam being the obvious exception of course, but while I felt an instant intense dislike for both of them I do realise these characters were needed in the novel to give it some much needed perspective and ensure it didn't became too sugary sweet or unrealistic.

What I also loved were the recipes and mentions of delicious baked goods that ran throughout the novel. Cally writes for two publications and even has cookbooks published and Jago is a baker by trade, so the two of them together have a wealth of baking knowledge and as they inspire each other with new ideas they indirectly also give some great tips to the reader. On top of that author Trisha Ashley has included some full recipes at the end of the book that budding bakers can try their hand at themselves.

Wish Upon a Star is an emotional novel as it deals with a very young child struggling with a serious illness, but it is also heartwarming as the people surrounding Cally and Stella show them kindness and hope - which is a beautiful and inspiring message leading up to Christmas.

You can pre-order your copy from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Waterstones or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: trishaashley.com

Facebook: facebook.com/TrishaAshleyBooks

Twitter: @trishaashley


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely, honest and thoughtful review,
    Trisha x

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    1. You're very welcome Trisha, thank you for writing such a wonderful novel! x

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  2. Lovely review! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!

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    Replies
    1. HI Juliet, thank you very much for reading and commenting! I hope you fall in love with Sticklepond and its inhabitants as much as I did :)

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