Wednesday 30 December 2015

The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells - Virginia Macgregor

One ordinary morning, Norah walked out of her house on Willoughby Street and never looked back. Six years later, she returns to the home she walked away from only to find another woman in her place. Fay held Norah's family together after she disappeared, she shares a bed with Norah's husband and Norah's youngest daughter calls Fay 'Mummy'.
Now that Norah has returned, everyone has questions. Where has she been? Why did she leave? And why is she back? As each member of the family tries to find the answers they each need, they must also face up to the most pressing question of all - what happens to The Mother Who Stayed when The Mother Who Left comes back?
From the author of What Milo Saw, comes this powerful, emotional and perceptive novel about what it takes to hold a family together and what you're willing to sacrifice for the ones you love.

What did I think?

This is an absolutely delightful story, beautifully written in a style unique to Virginia Macgregor.  I have named What Milo Saw in my top 20 books of 2015, so I was absolutely delighted when I was invited to read an advance copy of The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells.

Norah's daughters, Ella and Willa, are such vibrant characters that they were an absolute pleasure to read.  I found it hard at first to remember who was who as their names are so similar, but once they made it into my heart I could tell them apart.  Ella remembers her Mum, Norah.  She didn't know why Norah had left them and had set up a Twitter campaign to find her Mum.  Willa was just a baby when Norah left and Norah's friend, Fay, is the only Mummy that she knows.  Their lives are thrown into turmoil when Norah returns.

Norah's story is so emotional.  It is clear that she never stopped loving her family so it's really hard, as the reader, to understand why she left.  Virginia Macgregor tells Norah's story so compassionately that, by the time all of the jigsaw pieces fell into place, the whole Wells family felt very dear to me.

The conflicting emotions of Ella and Willa were portrayed so sympathetically.  Ella is so angry that her Mum doesn't appear to have a good reason as to why she left.  Willa, on the other hand, is quite accepting and is more than happy to have two Mums.  They are both amazing girls and Ella is a perfect example of how we lash out at those we love whereas Willa reminds us to accept people for who they are.

This is a truly magical book with an unconventional family that you will surely fall in love with.  Without a doubt, The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells is sure to become one of the big hits of 2016.

I received this e-book from the publisher, Little Brown Book Group, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

Pre-order now from Amazon - to be released 14 Jan 2016

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