Cover image of 'Days of Wonder' book with father and daughter image on stage

Following his bestseller 'A Boy Made of Blocks', Keith Stuart has cracked it all over again, this time with a novel exploring the connection between single parent and child and the struggles of coping with a life-limiting illness in the family.

It's everything I expected; some laugh out loud moments, some heart-wrenching words and certainly many a teary-eyed chapter reading. The dynamic pair of Tom and Hannah are wonderful to follow, particularly as they have come to be so open with each other due to their small family unit. Although their relationship seems particularly easy, we do see the stereotypical, teenage girl and father interactions in response first boyfriends, general overprotectiveness and turbulent arguments.

The overarching struggle in their bond is coping with Hannah's heart arrythmia, which was diagnosed when she was a child and naturally has haunted the two characters throughout their years together. The way Stuart explores the ups and downs of their time together, and the future that is to come, has a way of making you feel very close to their story and despite the darkness of this plot, there is a magical undertone in the way theatre, art and friends come into their lives.

Sound like your cup of tea? Read the blurb and find out more...

'Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable. 

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah's diagnosis with a heart condition that both of them know will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen on the brink of adulthood, that time is coming.

With the theatre under threat of closure, Hannah and Tom have more than one fight on their hands to stop the stories ending.'

From fairies to comic books, it shows the positive impact of having a creative outlet and how the pair can share their worlds with each other. Stuart himself mentions this is about how love, laughter and imagination can get families through difficult times and is certainly what the novel depicts. 

A beautiful story; if you're a fan of YA fiction and particularly if liked 'Everything, Everything' then I think you'll enjoy this.

If you grab a copy, let me know your thoughts over on Goodreads!