We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

Sometimes, I surprise myself when I find books all around the house. This was a book that I found in the bedroom and have no recollection of adding to my book collection. But, as it is here, I definitely needed to read it as I have seen it on Bookstagram and it has Lemon Polenta Cake, on the front so I can use it for ‘The Book Taster Reading Challenge’.

This is a gem of a book: a short novel that packs a punch (you will need tissues to read this because you will be in bits). Edi is dying, and Ash, her best friend since childhood, is looking after her as she spends her last days in a hospice – away from home but close to so many who love her – the family of Ash. Ash throws herself into caring for Edi, even when other areas of her life may be slightly falling apart. However, the time she spends with Edi teaches her some lessons and helps her with her life.

This is a powerful book about female friendship, family, love and relationships. It is a powerful and beautifully written, emotional read that teaches you so much about a true friendship and the love that comes with that. Although the main plot point is incredibly tragic, there is so much hope when you read this book, and reflection on remembering the good times, not mourning what may not be. This is done with sensitivity and humour, which means this book is a very enjoyable read. And its study of relationships, both romantic and those within a family, are beautifully done, and ring true.

I am definitely keen to read anything else that Catherine Newman writes, as this is just a charming book with fantastically strong female characters who probably remind us all of someone we know, and they may be a little imperfect – but who is perfect after all? I am sure there is so much more to come from Catherine Newman.

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