Tuesday 28 May 2019

The Book of Wonders by Julien Sandrel BLOG BLAST @JulienSandrel @QuercusBooks #BookOfWonders @MillReid11

Thelma and Louis, it's always just been the two of them, Thelma and her beloved son, Louis.
But when Louis is involved in an accident, their lives are turned upside down, as Louis falls into a coma. Feeling lost without him by her side, Thelma finds Louis' book of wonders - a bucket list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his life. She suddenly sees a way to feel close to him: she will fulfil Louis' dreams, living them out for him, in the hope that it will inspire him to survive.
Thelma is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime... and in a way, so is Louis...
The Book of Wonders is a heart-warming and charming story about finding the joy in every moment of life and making each and every day count. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and A Man Called Ove.

The Book of Wonders by Julien Sandrel is published by Quercus Books on 30 May 2019 in hardback. It is translated from the French by Ros Schwartz.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take part in this Blog Blast

The Book of Wonders is a story about realisation, and about taking stock. It contains a serious and often ignored message. It will make the reader think about what is important in life and why we spend so much time on the little things, instead of celebrating and enjoying the precious.

Thelma is a single mother to teenager Louis. They get along well, but Thelma has a busy job, with a demanding boss and Louis is a typical teenager. There are times when they get cross with each other, there are times when they ignore each other.

The story begins on one such day. Thelma has forced Louis out of his bed and as they walk down the street, she answers a work call from her boss ... even though it's her day off. Louis dashes off down the street on his skateboard ... straight into the path of an oncoming lorry.

From this moment on, life changes for both Thelma and Louis. 

Louis is seriously ill in hospital and Thelma is devastated.The reader is treated to both points of view, as the author cleverly incorporates Louis' own feelings along with Thelma's reaction to the trauma.
Thelma discovers that Louis has a 'bucket list' -  his Year of Wonders - a list of the things that he is determined to achieve. Feeling helpless and lost, Thelma makes the decision to do each of these things for him, on his behalf. Thelma believes that this will urge him on to recovery, and will help her to deal with her own feelings of helplessness and anguish.

The reader accompanies Thelma on her adventures and what a varied and exciting adventure it is. The Book of Wonders is a quick and easy read, excellently translated from the French. I ripped through it in a day or so.
The author has a great way with words and whilst this story could have been overly sweet and predictable, it really isn't. Thelma is a great character, she has her flaws, but she is basically a very loving and concerned mother. 

A satisfying read and one that make you sit back and take stock of life a little bit. 

And, just in case you wanted to know!  Here's my top three bucket list items of my life:

To travel on the Orient Express
To eat in a three Michelin starred restaurant
To see Pink Floyd play live 

Julien Sandrel was born in 1980 in the south of France and is married and has two children.

The Book of Wonders is his first novel, La Chambre des Meveilles was first published in France by Calmann-Levy in March 2018.

He lives in Paris

Twitter : @JulienSandrel

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