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Utterly Delightful: Read a Review of Just One Wish by Rachael Johns

October 22, 2019

Three women, three secrets, one life-changing journey.

This book helped me lose weight. Read on and I’ll tell you how.

While the word predictable in a book review is rarely a good thing, in this instance it is – Rachael Johns is totally predictable in that you simply know you’re going to get a great read from her. She never fails. What isn’t predictable is the twists and turns in this fabulous story.

We open in 1964, when Alice turns down a proposal from a man she otherwise loves. She’s strong, unconventional, and this great prologue really sets up this memorable character. Now Alice is known as Gralice to her granddaughter, and has always been a trailblazer as a scientist, activist, and mother. She knew her choices would involve sacrifices, but now, on the eve of her eightieth birthday, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s sacrificed too much.

Alice’s daughter Sappho rebelled against her unconventional upbringing, choosing to marry young and embrace life as a homemaker. Preferring to go by her middle name Marie, her status as a domestic goddess has recently taken a surprising turn. Despite her rather old-fashioned ways, she’s become a very modern social media sensation, espousing home-making skills with the help of her new assistant, Rosa.

Ged, has always been the peacemaker between her grandmother and mother. A tenacious journalist, she knows what she wants in life and love, yet when everything in her world starts falling apart, she begins to question whether she really knows anyone at all.

To celebrate turning 80, Alice has bought three tickets for an Elvis theme cruise – leaving tomorrow. She wants time with her daughter and granddaughter. At a crossroads in each of their lives, Alice, Sappho and Ged embark on a celebratory trip together, but instead of bringing them closer, the holiday sparks life-changing consequences and lifts the lid on a fifty-year secret.

Can Ged rescue her family if their story is built on a betrayal?

From bestselling, ABIA award-winning author Rachael Johns comes an engrossing and wise novel about ambition, choices and what it means to be a woman.

Polished writing, and great dialogue drive this story forward. The perfectly structured plot holds plenty of surprises, but it’s the beautifully crafted characters that are the glue in this wonderful novel. I adored all three women, but especially Alice. There are also a whole cast of colourful, glorious minor characters, and an unusual family structure that is a delight to read.

I took Just One Wish to the gym with me over two days, and sat on a bike and pedalled for long enough to finish the book. I forgot I was exercising… the misery of that didn’t exist, I was so immersed in this fun, wonderful read. I haven’t been able to walk for a week but I’m fitter… and I finished this fabulous novel. Utterly delightful… and predictably great.

Buy a copy of Just One Wish here.

About the author:

Rachael Johns, an English teacher by trade and a mum 24/7, is the bestselling ABIA-winning author of The Patterson Girls and a number of other romance and women’s fiction books including The Art of Keeping Secrets, The Greatest Gift and Lost Without You. She is currently Australia’s leading writer of contemporary relationship stories around women’s issues, a genre she has coined ‘life-lit’. Rachael lives in the Perth hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly gorgeous heroes-in-training and a very badly behaved dog. She rarely sleeps and never irons.


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