Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The One In A Million Boy - Monica Wood

The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?
So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.
One Saturday, he doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.


This really is a remarkable book I totally forgot I was reading a story - how Monica Wood ever came up with this story line is just amazing to me. The back story to Ona, who is now 104, is just so interesting and I really felt like I was sitting there listening to her tell it.

Although the book title suggests the main character is the boy he really takes a back seat once he establishes his love of world records - then steps in his Father Quinn. He really just wants to finish what his son started in helping out Ona. But what ensues is so much more as Ona helps Quinn find himself again and give herself a new lease of life too. 

I do wish Ona was a real person, I would love to meet her. From her card tricks to her wonderful tales of her life and her Lithuanian roots. I also feel I have taken so much from this book that I can't articulate but I feel better for having read it.

I knew I was approaching the end of the book and wondered - "how was the author going to end this lovely story". Well - I don't do spoilers but to say that it was a brilliant ending and had me in floods of tears - in a good way!

This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

My thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free e copy of this book for review.

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