Thank you to Bookouture for the blog tour invite for ‘The Wish List of Albie Young’ by Ruby Hummingbird, and for the ARC. Here is my review:
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…
What does TWG think?
Oh, Albie Young, you little heartbreaker, you! Well, and Ruby Hummingbird, you’ve certainly set a bar for yourself, haven’t you?
Maria is a character I wish I could just hug. It’s pretty clear that she doesn’t exactly ooze happiness, nor does she seem to have a reason to get up and go….until Albie Young. Maria loved getting prepped for her Thursday jaunt to the local cafe with Albie, until one day she turned up but he didn’t. At the time, Maria had absolutely no idea as to why he never showed up, so she tried again the following week. Again, the same thing happened, and once again she was clueless as to why he didn’t show up. Could something have happened to him? Or did he just not want to join Maria for a pot of tea on a Thursday, and wasn’t entirely sure on how to break it to her?
All becomes clear as the storyline goes on, so I won’t spoil it for you all, however the story highlighted just how deceiving appearances can be, and how strangers are so quick to judge someone based on a two second meeting or a two second glance. I mean come on, surely everyone is entitled to a bit more than that?
For me, Rosie is such an understated, shining star of a character who acted like Maria’s fairy godmother, despite being 54 years her junior. Like they say though; age is merely a number. The unexpected friendship was so heartwarming, but I do think that Rosie deserves a huge mention in my review for simply being such a wonderful, wonderful human.
There is a lot to ‘The Wish List of Albie Young’ that will bring emotions of any sort, to the surface for anyone who reads the book and, whilst I didn’t find the storyline to be a tearjerker, I was still able to appreciate the warmth and the determination behind the authors creation.
This is a storyline that is full of hope, second chances, and unexpected emotions; a story that is beautifully written and one that captures the true essence of friendship, happiness, and finding the courage to take that all important step into the unknown.
If this is the strength of books to come from Ruby Hummingbird, then we are all in for an absolute treat! Such a genuine, humbling, poignant read – I don’t envy the author now as for a debut novel, she has set the bar incredibly high!