One Wish by Maria Duffy | Book Reviews | Women’s Fiction

By Margaret Madden

Becky Greene is content with her lot. A great job in the bank, a lovely terraced home and a happy, healthy four year old daughter. Apart from her two best friends, she rarely goes out, but doesn’t feel the need as she has everything she needs. Or does she? When her daughter asks her why she doesn’t have a Daddy, Becky begins to question to decision to never tell Lilly’s father about her existence. She thought they would be better off without him, in the long run, but now her daughter’s curiosity is causing uneasy feelings about the situation. Thus, she begins her quest to find him and give him the shocking news that he has a four year old child. Considering the wild, flashy man she remembers, this could be a decision she regrets……

Maria Duffy’s forth novel is one I have been watching the post for. Her previous novel, The Letter, was one of my first reviews and I was dying to see if this one was going to be as memorable. I was not disappointed. A story of secrets, rash decisions and fear of change and the unknown. Becky is a strong willed woman who has not only managed to raise her daughter alone but has also had a difficult childhood which she tries her best to forget. Her nanny, Alice, is a gem, and makes life that bit easier for the small family. She loves Lilly as if she were her own child and the reader gets a glimpse into the heartbroken mind of Alice as she keeps up a brave face. Becky’s other friend, Kate, is a young, tough Irish girl who is trying to break into the world of modelling. The constant auditions and knock backs are affecting her more than anyone can see. Alongside the girl’s tales, is the story of Dennis and how his life has changed since the recession and the collapse of the property market. Through his eyes, the reader can see how different a life can become, in a relatively short period of time. Circumstances can alter any of our lives, for the better, or for the worse.

I’m a big fan of Maria’s writing. She uses delicate language, great insight into characters backgrounds and intriguing narrative. The subplots are just as interesting as the main story line and there’s great locational detail of Dublin, both North and South. I found Becky a bit annoying at times, she seemed to expect her two friends to drop everything and come to her aide more than a few times, despite her being snappy and offensive at times. However, I really loved reading about Dennis and his dramatic change in circumstances and wonder how many people out there are facing similar fates? I started this just after lunchtime on a (rare) sunny day and had it finished by early evening. It had me flicking pages like it was an Olympic sport and I was going for gold! Warm, endearing and full of shockingly real story lines, I was sorry to turn the last page and say goodbye to these characters. This is a gold medal novel for Maria Duffy. Don’t expect to get much done after turning to page one…..

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