Review published on August 25, 2017.
31 Days of Wonder opens with Ben and Alice meeting briefly in the park. Ben is quite taken with Alice and the feeling is mutual. The misunderstanding that leads Ben to think that Alice lives in Glasgow is so clever and it is this that underpins the entire story.
Over the course of a calendar month we are treated to chapters for each day – 1-31. We follow Alice and Ben. Ben is searching for Alice in the wrong place but he undergoes a different journey, one of discovery, and Alice uses the possibility of Ben to learn how to stand up for herself. Alice’s colleagues are so odd and treat her like a skivvy, her parents find her a bit perplexing and her flatmate is practically a dictator!
From around page 2 I was sniggering away. Ben is so funny as he doesn’t really have a filter and just says exactly what he’s thinking. He would be a harsh person to come across in real life I think, but in this book I loved him. I also liked Alice very much and felt really sorry for her with everybody making rude comments about her weight all the time.
The supporting characters are so well drawn too. Alice’s parents, Ben’s grandparents, their respective flat/house mates and even the woman that Alice works with at the food bank. They’re all a little eccentric. The situations that the characters find themselves in all the way through this book are brilliantly thought out – I had my hand clapped over my mouth at one point at something quite shocking and out of character for Alice.
31 Days of Wonder is deliciously quirky, witty and original. It’s not a love story but a story of how two people, based on a moment’s meeting, can learn to believe in themselves. Based on the delights of this book, I’m thinking Tom Winter might be an author whose humour is right up my street.
Nicola Smith 5/3
31 Days of Wonder by Tom Winter
Corsair 9781472153166 hbk Aug 2017
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