29/12/2013

Wish Upon a Star (by Trisha Ashley)

I'm slightly surprised to learn that it's six years since I first came across Trisha Ashley. I've read five of her books in the intervening years, most of them courtesy of The Bookbag. I find the stories good, if lightweight, with a sometimes humorous touch, and the great benefit of being entirely PG rated. There's no violence, no extreme language, and bedrooms doors - when even mentioned - stay firmly closed.

So when I spotted 'Wish upon a star', complete with Christmassy cover on the Bookbag shelves recently, I jumped at the chance for a little light reading in the festive season.

The book is mostly narrated by Cally, a single mother with a little girl who has a serious heart condition. Her only hope of normality is an expensive operation in the US. It’s a serious subject for a this kind of book, and I suspect it might be uncomfortable reading for anyone who has a child with health problems.

However there's also plenty of everyday life, baking - a regular theme in novels by this author. There's plenty of interaction with a rather overwhelmingly large cast of villagers, and, of course, a light romance. Although the book stands alone, it helped that I had read ‘Chocolate Wishes’ and ‘Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues’, since some of the people in those reappeared in this one.

It was a good book to read in a busy period; it took me a while to get into it, but I found myself more and more interested in the various subplots, and thus reading for longer and longer stretches. As always with this author I was mildly irritated by inconsistent use of tenses, but this is less pronounced in this book than in some others. I also felt that some of the day-to-day discussions and repeated activities could have been shortened somewhat - but I don't mind skimming, and I know many readers enjoy this kind of down-to-earth detail.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who likes light women’s fiction with a more serious undercurrent and a satisfying (if predictable) ending. Available in both paperback and Kindle form, on both sides of the Atlantic.

My longer review of 'Wish upon a star' is now available at The Bookbag.

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