Sunday, 8 May 2016

Review - The One In A Million Boy by Monica Wood

I have to admit that I enjoyed The One In A Million Boy by Monica Wood a lot more than I thought I was going to. For me, it was one of those books that I think a lot of people are going to be reading and talking about several years down the line, purely because of how beautiful and unique the premise of the book is. It’s one of those books that is incredibly powerful and extremely thought-provoking and I certainly won’t be forgetting it in a hurry. 

This is a novel that is based on the friendship between an 11 year old boy and a 104 year old lady called Ona Vitkus. Obsessed with world records, the young boy who by all accounts does not have many friends is a boy scout who is sent to Ona’s house in order to help out with some odd jobs. As he learns about Ona’s life he determines to help Ona break a world record and it doesn’t take long for Ona to start looking forward to the boy’s visits. However, one day the boy’s father turns up in his place which leaves Ona confused and questioning why. We soon learn that the young boy has tragically died and that his father will be fulfilling the boy’s responsibilities, which he does whilst building a friendship of his own with Ona and discovering so much more about himself and the son he hardly knew. 

I’m going to be completely honest and say that this book took me a few chapters to get into but when I was eventually into it, there was no stopping me and I flew through it at a remarkable pace. Throughout the novel the author has been superb in creating a story that, despite being heart-breaking, is also uplifting and inspirational. Predominantly it’s a tale about grief and how two parents who had separated each came to terms with and handled their loss in different ways. The death of the young boy, although devastating, led to the complete transformation of the father that was a pleasure to witness. 

Furthermore, it’s also a very poignant story about friendship and one which really demonstrates that age is just a number that is completely irrelevant. Through this book I have really come to appreciate what is meant by the saying you are only as old as you feel and that nobody is ever to old to pursue their dreams and achieve something special. It also provided an insight into a medical condition that I had never heard of before called long QT syndrome, but one which I think is extremely important and one which needs to be discussed more widely for people to understand it. 

I very much appreciated this book and the story told within it’s pages and can honestly say that I found it to be a very special story. It moved me in a way that I didn’t think it was going to and it was the perfect book to introduce me to Monica Wood’s writing style and I would definitely read more by her in the future. A reading experience I will never forget, a novel I really recommend and a story that surpassed all of my expectations.