A Del of a Life {Review}

The lesson being: It’s not where you come from, it’s where you want to go.

A Del of a Life, David Jason

In all honesty, it’s impossible for me to review anything by David Jason impartially. I grew up watching Frost and Only Fools and Horses. He’s one of my favourite humans. I would read a book about his favourite uses for the word LOL, if he should ever stoop that low (which I’m sure he wouldn’t). How do you find fault with a legend? I don’t think I’d dare, even to myself.

I read his first autobiography with great joy. David Jason has had a fascinating life and worked with some of the greats in British comedy. He’s been in some of the most iconic British TV. A Del of a Life is a continuation of that story, an add on, but works perfectly well as a standalone. If you’re also a fan, or just like biography, I would highly recommend both books.

A Del of a Life is well written and has a strong voice. As you might expect, it’s also laugh out loud funny. I enjoyed the stories about David Jason’s career and glimpses into his life enormously. It felt like sitting down for a cup of tea with your granddad or favourite uncle, and listening to stories about their life. And, now into his ninth decade, he certainly had some insights worth sharing. Advice was couched in humorous tones, never arrogant, but given in the form of stories from experience; my favourite kind of advice!

I sincerely enjoyed this book. And I hope not just because I’m a fan. It was uplifting, brought the reader on a journey, funny, and smart. Not to mention, a thoroughly interesting read written by a thoroughly interesting man.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

My Desert Island Books

In case you’ve been living on… well, a desert island! A desert island list is a game where you choose things you couldn’t do without if stranded on a desert island. Presuming you have food, water, shelter, and Netflix, of course… In this case, which books would you want to be stranded with? You get 5 picks.

My criteria was pretty simple: preferably a whole series in one book or set, because that would be more entertaining than one book, and definitely things I could happily read over and over again. I mean, you don’t know how long you’re going to be stuck there, do you?!

My 5 Desert Island Books

What would your desert island books be?

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes {Book Review}

Trisha Ashley | Bantam Press (2020)

Cozy romance is my guilty pleasure, and I adore all of Trisha Ashley’s books. The Garden of Forgotten Wishes was no exception; sweet, comfortable and satisfying, I’m already sure it will become a favourite re-read!

Perfect for it’s genre, The Garden of Forgotten Wishes was the ideal escapism. Book hygge. Trisha Ashley’s books are all set around the same fictional Lancashire village, so every time I pick one up it’s like returning to see an old friend when you catch glimpses of characters and places from previous books. The villages themselves, the worlds she’s created, are also chocolate box perfect. It’s an idealised, safe, version of reality; the one you wish you could live in. Pure escapism!

Like most cozy romance, everything about The Garden of Forgotten Wishes, from the return to the world of Winter’s End to the familiar unfolding of the plot, is also predictable and safe. There are no big twists or surprises. This is not reading on the edge of your seat. It’s a warm hug of a book.

However, unlike some of Trisha Ashley’s other titles, The Garden of Forgotten Wishes is a slow burner. It’s almost overburdened with world building detail; we savour the process of making homemade ice cream, the colours of the art on the walls, and the developments in the garden. Since the plot is so predictable, and you’re returning to a familiar world, this works. It shouldn’t, it probably wouldn’t in any other kind of book, but here it does. It’s this immersive exploration of a much-loved world which fans crave. I thoroughly enjoyed all the gardening details, the details of village life. That being said, if you hadn’t already fallen in love with this world, I think the pacing might be too slow.

The other thing I love about Trisha Ashley’s books is the characters. Her protagonists are all strong, independent, capable women. They’re rarely young women, which is also a refreshing change of pace. All her characters are imperfectly authentic. They have flaws and back story, and the drama develops from this conflict between character and history. They’re easy to love because they’re ordinary. There’s nothing complex about them, and yet they feel very three dimensional.

All in all, The Garden of Forgotten Wishes was the perfect cozy read, the antidote to the craziness of the world right now and the grey English weather outside. Chocolate box English villages, sweet and slow burning romance. This is the book equivalent of a cup of tea and a biscuit.