Book Review: Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor
Release Date: 18th May 2017
Buy: Paperback Kindle
What’s the Story?
Feather Tucker has two wishes:
1)To get her mum healthy again
2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships
When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.
Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?
When Feather Tucker’s mum collapses into a diabetic coma on New Year’s Eve, Feather realises that things have gotten a little out of control in the Tucker household.
Feather’s mum, Jo, is morbidly obese and refuses to even leave the house any more. She spends her days watching Strictly Come Dancing re-runs and binging on prawn cocktail crisps and pineapple syrup. When Feather hears the nurses at the hospital discussing her mum’s health and revealing that she could be dead in a matter of months, Feather decides that something must be done.
Along with the help of her best friend, Jake, Feather devises a complete lifestyle overhaul for her mum…However things don’t exactly go to plan, which isn’t helped by the lack of cooperation shown by Feather’s parents. Determined to get down deeper to the cause of the issue as to why Jo over-eats and refuses to leave the house, Feather ends up uncovering many a secret from her mother’s past…So what made Jo the way she is? As Feather comes to realise that things don’t just happen, there’s always a trigger for people’s behaviour, she is determined to find out what happened to turn her Mum into a fun-loving, passionate young women, to someone who can no longer fit through her own front door…
Throughout the course of her investigation there’s a new visitor to Willingdon. When teenager Clay arrives in the village, Feather is immediately drawn to him – however it soon becomes apparent that he has many problems of his own…
Whilst fighting to save those closest to her, Feather is also determined to succeed in the one thing she loves in life more than anything else – swimming. But can she focus on the Junior UK championships when she has other people’s problems to solve?
As a fan of Virginia Macgregor’s I was really excited when I heard she’d written a YA novel. I am LOVING reading YA at the moment, there’s been some fantastic releases so far this year and I was sure that this pairing would be a match made in heaven.
Wishbones certainly didn’t disappoint. It’s a hard-hitting read, packed full of energy and insight.
The novel centres around the sensitive issues of weight and eating disorders. At one end of the spectrum you have Jo; morbidly obese and slowly eating herself into an early grave. You then have teenager Clay who is suffering from anorexia. He refuses to eat and is constantly exercising. Having characters suffering from both extremes is hugely effective and it was both fascinating and heart-breaking to compare the difference in suffering. I also thought that it was very brave and clever of Virginia to create a male anorexia sufferer. I always feel as though male anorexia is something which isn’t discussed about nearly as widely as it should be, and looking at the statistics it’s a hugely prominent problem, but one that is often swept under the carpet. I really hope that this excellent and sensitively written novel helps to raise awareness of the condition; it certainly has for this reader.
Wishbones is written entirely from Feather’s perspective and this gives an insight into what it is like for those around eating disorder sufferers. My heart broke for Feather…She cared for her mum so much and only wanted what was best for her. The lengths that she went to in order to improve her mum’s health were incredible…and in doing so she regularly sacrificed herself and the things that were important to her. I honestly don’t know how she managed to carry around the things that she did AND compete in the swimming championships (I would have been an emotional wreck if I had half of what she did to deal with…) She is completely selfless and has a heart of pure gold. I don’t believe that there’s anything she wouldn’t do for anyone. I really felt for her and at times I got so angry with her mum and dad. They were meant to be the ones looking out for her and all they appeared to be doing were keeping things from her and showing a complete lack of interest in her life. So many times I just wanted to give Feather a big squish and tell her everything was going to be ok.
However, I was massively intrigued to find out exactly what her parents were keeping from her…and why. I tried to piece together the clues but I couldn’t quite complete the puzzle. After barking up the wrong tree (quite spectacularly) a few times, all became clear and it certainly wasn’t what I expected. My opinions of certain characters then began to change…
I really enjoyed this powerful, hard-hitting novel. Virginia tackles sensitive subjects with tact and diplomacy and does a brilliant job of creating unique characters that you will genuinely care for. I took away a really important message from this book, namely how important it is to have the support of your family and friends when you’re going through a difficult time. So many characters in Wishbones were facing their own private battles and demons – but Virginia Macgregor shows that with the love and help from the right people, you can tackle anything.
A huge thank you to HQ for the opportunity to review Wishbones.