ABOUT THE BOOK
This unmissable, unforgettable book will crack your heart in two and piece it back together again. Have a packet of tissues handy…
Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.
Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.
On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.
Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.
Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.
When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.
Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.
Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…
This life-affirming and heartfelt tale is for anyone who has ever looked at their life and wanted more. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things will love this poignant story, which shows us that for the truest loves, the end is never really the end…
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date – 12th November 2019
Spoiler alert – books about old people always make me cry! And you’ll have to have a heart of stone if you don’t find yourself shedding a tear or two during this stunning debut from Ruby Hummingbird that captures beautifully those little moments that often end up meaning the most and how just a simple action can start a wonderful chain reaction off, bringing hope to those who need it.
It’s set in Brighton, and we follow the story of Maria. She lives alone and has a weekly routine that she sticks to rigidly – Thursday is her favourite day though after a chance encounter with a man in a cafe, means she now meets up with him every Thursday for tea, cake and a chat. Until one day he doesn’t show and she’s devastated to lose that connection.
When she receives a call from a lawyer, the truth about Albie is revealed and it was heartbreaking to see how Maria reacted to the news. But Albie has done something rather wonderful for her and her life and routine is set to change, if only she can cope with the loss.
With the discovery of a list that Albie left behind, she finds out he’s been a good samaritan in his life, with a wish list where he helps a number of local people. Many of the plans he had are still unticked so she sets out to carry on his good work and starts to meet up with the people that Albie had gone out of his way to spend time with. From a homeless man, to a troubled youngster and even to Albie’s sister, Maria starts to disover a life outside of her routine and the wonderful feeling you get when you can help someone – it’s one of those stories that makes your heart burst with happiness when you see the positive effects a simple action can create.
Maria finds her own name on the list and ticking her ‘wishes’ off the list might prove the most difficult as she has to face some heartbreak from the past.
Maria finds that helping people isn’t always taken in the right spirit but the sense of purpose and responsibility really makes her shine, and knowing that Albie wasn’t doing these things for attention, but just to help, is just another heartwarming aspect of this whole book.
Totally adorable and a wonderful antidote of a read to the often heartless and harsh world we are living in. A must read!!
My thanks to the team at Bookouture and Netgalley for the advanced e-copy in return for a fair and honest review.