Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her brother, to her collection of bears. And then one day everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up, her father moves across the country, and Nancy stops talking.The family are trying to negotiate their way around the parents breaking up and having to invade on Aunty Eva for Patrick's bi-weekend visits. Nancy has stopped talking and can only manage the odd whisper in a safe place whilst Joel is desperate for attention.
Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She always knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but she was sure it was worth it – until Mickey dies suddenly, leaving Eva with only his diaries and a voice in the back of her mind telling her that perhaps she's sacrificed more than she meant to.
From the moment I saw the cover and read the description I knew I wanted to read this book. I wasn't disappointed. As soon as I started I was hooked on the characters, 10 year old Joel who can't sit still and has a penchant for musicals, chatterbox 4 year old Nancy and her parents; kooky Caitlin and up tight Patrick. Throw in Eva, Patrick's widowed sister and two adorable pugs Bumble and Bee and you have the recipe for a heart breaking but uplifting story.
The story sensitively deals with a number of issues including selective mutism, bereavement and divorce. It gently guides the family through the situations with the reader developing a real ache to want to reach out and help. To be honest by the end of the book I was an emotional wreck.
If you want a book to snuggle onto the sofa with whilst hibernating from the cold, then choose this one, you wont regret it. Just don't forget to have the tissues ready!
All I Ever Wanted is released on 1st December 2016 and is published by Hodder & Stoughton
I was kindly provided a free copy from Hodder & Stoughten via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.