I might just have to say this out loud – this might be my favourite Christmas novel of 2015.
I think what I loved most about Make A Christmas Wish is that it really turned the whole idea of a festive romance novel on its head. Our protagonist is a ghost and she talks to a spirit guide cat. I mean, come on, that’s not what you often read about at Christmas. I’m not great with suspending my disbelief either when it comes to things like this, but, for some reason, Julia Williams managed to make me completely and utterly suspend everything and fall head first into the magical world of Livvy.
Livvy was killed in a supermarket car park, which is kind of a rubbish way to go. And, just before she died, she’d found out her husband was having an affair. Not great, not great at all. So when Livvy finds she’s a ghost and can see what’s going on now she’s gone, she decides to do all she can to make her husband fall back in love with her.
With her autistic son being able to see her and with her new found powers to turn lights on and off and to slam doors, Livvy is going to make her husband listen to her if it’s the last thing she does…
Oh I LOVED this book. Livvy was such a brilliant character and I truly felt her pain and could sympathise with her. Who wants to know that their husband has moved on so quickly once they’ve died?! I, for one, would certainly want to get my own back. As the plot progresses and we see Livvy try and make her presence felt, Malachi, her spirit guide cat, tries to show her why her marriage was failing and what her life would be like if she was still alive. He wants to prove to Livvy that no matter how hard she tries, she can never have the life she dreams of. We gain an insight into what Livvy was like when she was alive and it was heartbreaking to see – especially because Livvy just didn’t realise what she was doing to those around her. I wanted to engulf her into a huge hug.
We find out more about Adam and Emily (the husband and his new partner) and to begin with I hated them both. I was shouting at them in my mind – HOW CAN YOU BE DOING THIS WHEN YOUR WIFE HAS ONLY JUST DIED?! HOW CAN YOU BE THINKING ABOUT MOVING IN TOGETHER?!?!?! I was completely livid on Livvy’s behalf. But as I found out more about their past and saw what Livvy had put Adam through, I started to find myself sympathising with him a little more. Everyone involved in this story had done something wrong and it was their realisations and feelings of regret and guilt that really struck me and made me want to be there for them all.
My favourite character by far was Joe – Livvy’s son. He was SO intent on making everyone realise that Livvy was still around and was holding onto the hope that he would get his mum back. He was so desperate to keep the memory of his mum alive and he was the one character I wanted to look after the most.
The pacing of Make A Christmas Wish was perfect and I couldn’t bear to put it down. Every chapter enticed me to read on and when the book was finished I wanted to start reading it again! The ending was bittersweet and whilst I was glad things were fixed, I still wanted to magic Livvy back into the world of the living and let her have her life back – her story stayed with me for a long while after I’d finished reading.
I can’t explain how much I loved Make A Christmas Wish. I highly recommend you picking up this lovely, heartwarming festive treat up. It makes you realise how important the people you love are and gives you a renewed sense of wanting to be the best person you can be.
A beautiful, beautiful story.