Title: The Queen of Wishful Thinking
Author: Milly Johnson
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Goody bag from blogging event
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 9th March 2017
Rating: 5 Stars
When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.
As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?
Simply indescribable just how much I enjoyed this book, and how brilliant it is. This is Milly Johnson at her very best, weaving a story that will want you wanting more. I was hooked from the beginning, in this heartwarming story of friendship, family, doing the right thing, a couple of very different marriages and the most colourful cast of antique dealers you can imagine.
The first thing I want to say is that I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit during the book, not necessarily at what Lew and Bonnie are up to, but more the short articles that crop up from time to time from the local Daily Trumpet newspaper, how have a great habit of misspelling vital words radically changing the meaning of what is being said. These just really matched my sense of humour and I have to believe that Milly Johnson probably enjoyed coming up with them.
Bonnie is trapped in a loveless marriage, where every day is exactly the same. It is like she has become old before her time and she is desperate for escape. Her life starts to change when she loses her job with a hideous boss, and somehow gets a new one elsewhere in the same sort of field, in a much nicer shop.
Pot of Gold is an antiques shop, that Lewis opened after is life changing heart attack two years ago. Before that he had a high powered job, but his wife still thinks he earns that level of money. He believes it is fate that brought Bonnie into his shop and she really does change the fortunes of the place.
I thought the whole community of antique dealers was incredibly colourful and they all had brilliant nicknames, that usually described the sort of thing they were interested in. They have all known Bonnie for many years and will do anything for her, and there are a few touching moments when they prove it.
Stephen is a character I had nothing but disdain for, he is Bonnie's husband, and is a cold hearted controlling sort of man. He managed to blackmail Bonnie into staying with him once before, and is convinced it will work again. He is an incredibly nasty piece of work, and I was just shocked how much I disliked him.
Both Lew and Bonnie go on a rollercoaster ride of emotion in their personal lives . There are some elements that mirror in each of them, but on the whole they are quite different.
I felt incredibly sorry for Bonnie for most of the second half of the book, and can't believe the amount of years she stayed with her manipulative husband. I loved the way she decided to earn herself some extra money, while feeling gutted at the nature of her biggest secret, which as a result of it being revealed, causes her to have an awful time.
The Queen of Wishful Thinking is vintage Milly Johnson, it is incredibly comforting to read, I felt right at home with the writing style and characters, I love how the story was weaved together, and built from the start. There weren't any particularly slow bits and I felt that everything in the book had been well honed to become the gripping story that it was.