- Author: Julia Williams
- Published: October 2015 by Avon
- Category: Contemporary, Paranormal
A HILARIOUS and JUST-A-LITTLE HEARTBREAKING FESTIVE TREAT for anyone who’s looking for a little bit of MAGIC this CHRISTMAS TIME!
Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.
After reading the blurb on the back cover, this sounded like something a bit different to the usual Christmas stories. Livvy had just found out her husband, Adam, was cheating on her, when she was hit by a car in the supermarket car park. Badly injured, she is rushed to hospital but the doctors are unable to save her.
Livvy is confused and disorientated, watching the scene below her. Gradually she understands the body in the hospital is actually hers and she’s just been declared dead. Then she’s watching a nurse talking to a shocked and distressed Adam and their son, Joe, before she finds herself dragged into darkness. Back in the car park her spirit guide, a black cat called Malachi, makes himself known.
‘I can’t be dead,’ I wail again. ‘This isn’t happening.’
’Sorry to disappoint, but you’re very very dead. Anyway, in the situation you find yourself in, what’s so odd about talking to a cat? This isn’t who I really am. Just a convenient shape I take on in moments like this………More to the point, I’m here to help you.’
‘Why?’ I say suspiciously.
‘Because it’s my job,’ says the cat wearily. ‘Though, quite frankly, I’ve had easier material to work with.’
‘What do you mean by that? I say, furious again.
‘Well, let’s start with untangling the mess you’ve made of your life.’
Livvy is determined to get back to her family one way or another. This other woman is not going to take her place. How will Joe, who has Asperger’s, cope without her? And she does love Adam, despite everything that’s gone on over the years.
With a slight nod to A Christmas Carol we get to know Livvy, Adam, Joe and Emily through the present, past and future. The story is told from multiple points of view and seeing Joe’s thoughts written as notes in list form was quite moving. His character is dealt with realistically, his condition making him see situations differently but also with others in mind. It was only as the story progressed we see the reasons, and begin to understand, why Adam and Livvy’s marriage was failing.
Livvy can’t let go of her anger and jealousy and selfishly begins the fight to try and regain her life, at any cost, regardless of how it affects others, not to mention Malachi’s warnings and the glimpses he gives Livvy of why her life turned out the way it did. She refuses to accept any responsibility and blames Emily for everything.
Not sure I quite agree with the beginning of the synopsis but the story does have a message – the true meaning of love, forgiveness, letting go and consideration for others. And, although I didn’t like Livvy a lot of the time, I did feel sorry for her. She was so stubborn and wouldn’t admit she needed help, so, eventually she pushed people away. It’s a story from a different angle, the humour quite dark and the magic of the paranormal type. The sensitive topics brought into the story are dealt with tactfully, it’s well written and I would definitely read this author again.
About Julia Williams
Julia Williams was born and grew up in London, one of eight children, including a twin sister. She went to St Michael’s Grammar School and Liverpool University where she met her husband. They live in Surrey with their four children.
Make a Christmas Wish is her ninth book for Avon, and she is just about to start writing her tenth.