It’s a been a little while since I offered my thoughts on someone else’s writing on here, rather than sharing my own. However, I’m still really enjoying reading-especially now that summer’s arrived and there’s (slightly!) more sun around here in Wales. Sitting on my garden bench whilst lost in a good story is definitely one of life’s little pleasures.
Today, I’m going to be talking about a really lovely summer read-The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West. Katarina kindly sent me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Here’s the blurb:
“Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter.
She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law
and living vicariously through romantic movies.
Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a
Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.
On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair.
Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.
In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers.
He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.
How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different,
second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven? What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?”
As the blurb suggests, the story centres around two female characters with very different lives and personalities. Both Irene and Mimi are easily likeable, so I quickly found myself getting attached to their stories-as Irene’s revels in the decadence of the celebrity lifestyle whilst Mimi realises that life is very different without money and status. I particularly warmed to the determined Mimi as she struggled to accept her new existence as a Danish housewife and fought to get her old life back.
In many ways, this is a classic body-swap story; reminiscent of films such as Freaky Friday and The Change-Up. However, it’s made more interesting by the fact that the swap takes place due to the actions of a young angel, Aaron- who has a desire for change and justice that overrides his respect for angel rules and laws. Aaron’s story is interwoven throughout; and, whilst it’s compelling, it complicated the narrative somewhat for me. This might just be due to the fact that I’m not a huge fan of fantasy novels, but as Aaron inhabits an different realm from the other characters I felt that a lot of explaining had to be done to describe the Angel Kingdom in which he exists-which slowed down the pace of the book.
Having said this, I still really enjoyed the novel. It’s well-written and compelling, and the chapters are short enough so that you fit in a quick read during your lunch break. It’s also perfect for this time of year as it offers romance, escapism and plenty of plot-twists!
It’s worth noting that this book is the first edition in the Angel Aid series-which means that there’s plenty more still to come from the talented Katarina West. I’m already looking forward to the next one!
To buy The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice on Amazon, click here.
To find out more about Katarina West, please visit her website.