• The Wish List of Albie Young by Ruby Hummingbird
The Wish List of Albie Young Book Cover The Wish List of Albie Young
Ruby Hummingbird
Women's Literary Fiction
November 12, 2019

‘I absolutely loved this... I couldn’t put it down, grabbing every opportunity to continue... Heart-wrenchingly sad but... also one of the most uplifting and heartwarming books... It had me crying (and I mean big heaving sobs!!)... I finished this book last night, and yet here I am 24 hours later still thinking about it!... Fabulous, amazing, wonderful!!’ Stardust Reviews, 5 stars

Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.

Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.

On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.

Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.

Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.

When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.

Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.

Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…

This life-affirming and heartfelt tale is for anyone who has ever looked at their life and wanted more. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things will love this poignant story, which shows us that for the truest loves, the end is never really the end…

Live, Love & Learn

The Wish List of Albie Young by Ruby Hummingbird is the unexpected, poignant story of finding oneself in the face of an overwhelming tragedy. What do you do when your world turns upside down for the second time in your life? When the one bright spot in your dull day to day life no longer shines? For Maria Birch, she didn’t know what to do. Until the answer came unexpectedly, and she had no choice but to follow the wish list that was left behind.

The Wish List of Albie Young is a big change for me. Normally, I’m not drawn into stories written in third person. There are few exceptions, which are: the writing has to be phenomenal, and the story has to suck me in. Ruby Hummingbird (fabulous name!) instantly drew me in her story about Maria Birch because her writing is both thoughtful and phenomenal. The storyline and plot is both intriguing and emotional.

What I liked best is that with each task on the list, Maria slowly starts to re-enter the land of the living. Not that she was dead before, but that she was a husk of the person she once was. At the end of each chapter, there’s a small snippet of memories told in first person. Throughout the book you start to realize that the mother in the snippets sharing these memories is Maria, and that she’s sharing memories about her daughter. Folks, this is why I called the book “poignant.” These memories, even though they are short, evoke so much emotion that there were times that I felt an ache while reading.

Set in England, in Brighton, there is a whole crew of characters that Maria interacts with that really help to guide and shape her while she complete’s Albie’s wish list. Not to mention, despite the fact that we don’t actually meet Albie in the book, his spirit is so prevalent throughout that Albie becomes as dear and beloved as Maria right up to the very end.

One lesson that I will for sure takeaway from Ruby Hummingbird’s The Wish List of Albie Young is that you’re never too old to change or to do what’s right.

We all get one life to live, and The Wish List of Albie Young is a testament to living a life of no regrets. Live your life. Love with your whole heart, and learn new things every day.

The Wish List of Albie Young is Ruby Hummingbird’s debut novel, that will be available in e-book form on November 12th, 2019! I highly recommend!