One day an eleven year old boy scout is assigned a task to do odd jobs for a one hundred and four year old woman for three months. He is obsessed with the Guinness Book of World Records. She suspects that he will be like every other boy scout assigned to help her, that he will not last the course. An unlikely friendship springs up between the boy and the woman.
As the story moves on we meet the boys’ parents, Quinn and Belle. Theirs is one of those marriages that nobody on the outside, least of all her family, understands. Marriage only came in the wake of pregnancy, is followed by divorce, remarriage and finally divorce. Quinn is a musician; he makes a steady living playing his guitar but the Big Time has always been just out of reach.
Love, loss, the pursuit of impossible dreams and a rather fantastic road-trip all unfold. At times The One-in-a-Million Boy had me in pools of tears but then later (usually when sitting on a train) it would cause me to laugh out loud. Ultimately the book is about making the most of what you have whilst you can and never to give up on the pursuit of your dreams. All of which sounds a bit preachy but it’s not. You really root for all the characters, despair when they make stupid decisions and cheer when things go well.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a review copy by the publisher in return for an honest opinion.
THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY by Monica Wood
Published by Headline Review
Paperback £7.99, ebook £6.49