Reviewed by Kelly Spillane
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.
And she’s not ready to go just yet! She’s furious about the new woman in her husband’s life and she’s worried about her beloved son who doesn’t seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.
This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?
After finding out that her husband is having an affair, Livvy accidentally runs out in front of a car and dies two weeks before Christmas. But Livvy still has unfinished business on earth and is stuck in limbo until she can put things right. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Livvy decides to haunt her husband and his new girlfriend, Emily. Livvy is also worried about how her son Joe, who has Asperger's Syndrome, and she feels that it is important that she remains in his life so she is delighted when Joe can sometimes hear her and feel her presence. All Livvy wants is her life back, and when a magical opportunity presents itself, Livvy has one last opportunity to put things right, but what price will she have to pay to get it.
Make A Christmas Wish is a beautifully written, humorous spin on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Laugh out loud funny at times and just a little bit heartbreaking at others. The story is told from the point of view of Livvy, her husband, Adam, his new girlfriend, Emily, with little extracts from Joe's diary. Being able to see the story from each characters point of view is something I loved and I feel that it really added to this book. It allowed me to get to know each character a little bit better and I found that if the book was written differently, I probably wouldn't have liked Emily at all but because I got to see the story from her point of view, I found that I actually really liked her character. My favourite character in the book was by far Joe. He is just the sweetest character and is so beautifully written. I strongly feel that the book would have been nothing without him. Malachi, Livvy's spirit guide, who takes in the role of a black cat throughout the book made the book added that little something special to the book.
As well as being quite funny, the book also has a dark side and deals with some sensitive topics. The main one is Livvy's depression and alcohol abuse. Julia Williams handled the topic brilliantly and gave a very real insight into what living with depression can be like, not only for the person suffering from it but also how their family members are affected.
In the book Livvy gets to see what her life would have been like if she lived and she was also transported back to memorable dates in her past, I loved this about the book. This really let me get to know the character of Livvy that little bit better and I loved how it created a back story.
I read this book in two sittings and I could not and would not put it down. I laughed a lot and I have to admit that I did shed a tear or two at the bittersweet ending! The pages seemed to turn themselves and I was totally immersed in the story. This is the first book I have read by Julia Williams and I can't wait to head over to Amazon where my bank balance will take a hit downloading more of her books. If you read one Christmas book this year, let it be this one. You will not be disappointed, it has all the ingredients for the perfect festive read.