I want to start this review with a long, dreamy sigh. Okay, that’s sorted, let’s get into it. Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor is a gorgeous book, it might even be among one of my favourites of the year and it’s only February!
Wishbones is all about a teenaged girl called Feather who lives in a very small English town where nothing much goes on. Except everything goes on in this book as we follow Feather through six life changing months in her young life. It starts on New Year’s Eve, Feather comes home to discover her mum, one of Britain’s most obese women, in a diabetic coma. This horrific experience pushes Feather into action as she decides to take it upon herself to make her mum better before she eats herself to death. Alongside this, Feather is an avid swimmer and is training towards winning the Junior UK Swimming Championships, so it’s safe to say that she’s got a lot on her mind. As she tries to help her mother, she discovers all kinds of shocking secrets about her family. The story is gripping with lots of intrigue and manages to tie lots of different storylines and ideas up into a complex and coherent novel.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, especially as the book is about characters much younger than what I usually read – I’m probably about 10 years older than the protagonist and that makes me feel very sad! However, one of my aims for the year is to read more widely, and that includes lots of different age ranges, so I was excited to start with this book – and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
What really sold this book for me were the characters. As Feather lives in such a small village, everyone seems to know each other in that enviable Gilmore Girls way, and there is a sense that everyone wants to support each other. Especially when Feather starts to look for ways to help get her mum’s weight down, members of the village, particularly the local slimming club, rally around her to help. But what I loved most of all was that it felt like all of these characters had a lot going on in their own lives, that they weren’t just randomly generated names included for the sake of it. Mrs Zas and Rev Cootes in particular are characters I didn’t expect to find out so much about but each of them have their own problems, their own pasts, and Macgregor explores them very well. Feather, as well, is a great protagonist with a relatable and determined young voice. I loved reading from her perspective and the way she approached and discussed the challenges in her life was great, as well as believable.
The novel doesn’t hold back and I was really surprised by just how many topics the novel touches on, with things such as relationships, sexuality, depression, eating disorders and even immigration being discussed. I really enjoyed reading this and I would recommend it to any young readers or YA lovers who fancy a sweet but suspenseful read. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.
I acquired this book in advance from NetGalley, it will be published on May 18th 2017 by Harlequin.