>Simon and Schuster very kindly gave me a copy of Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris to review.
Here’s the synopsis:
Dreams can come true – it could happen to you…For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy’s – once London’s most elegant department store – Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed. When Evie overhears that Hardy’s is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store’s fortunes by December 26th – three weeks away – and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she’s going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she’s going to need a miracle.
I loved this book. It’s so feel good and Christmassy and just brilliant. I actually finished it about a month ago (review writing delayed by NaNoWriMo consuming me for the entirity of November amongst other things) and am giving serious consideration to reading it again to help get into the Christmas spirit right about now. I could use a little Christmas spirit I think.
To start with I just wanted to scream at Evie to grow up and stand up for herself. But then as the book continues it becomes all the more obvious why she is how she is and all the more understandable too. As someone whose disability often makes her invisible I could relate to Evie’s problem with not being known for who she is and often being ignored. And I could recognise a lot of a younger, less confident me. I wish my own journey to increased confidence and losing (some of) my invisibility had been as fun and rewarding in the end as Evie’s was in this book. I think this shows just how believable and well written the characters in this book are.
If you like books which you have to work to enjoy and which make you think, this may not be the book for you. I found it did make me think as I said above but it’s definitely more of a fun read than a literary or education read. That’s not to say it was predictable or formulaic or anything like that because it wasn’t. It’s chicklit, yes, but it’s chicklit at it’s best. This reminded me of Marian Keyes at her strongest. Miracle on Regent Street is Ali Harris’s first novel and I predict it won’t be her last. I’ll certainly be watching out for more by her.
It’s totally perfect for a cold evening snuggled under the duvet or on the sofa – preferably with a hot chocolate. And it’s the sort of book I would love to find in my Christmas stocking on the big day. It’s that good.