The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
The Last Word Review
This is beautifully crafted book. Both heartwarming and heartbreaking. A magical read
The one thing about this book is that it is different. It will divide opinion on whether people love it or not as much. I will state here that I was captivated by the story all the way through.
Miss Ona Vitkus is one hundred and four years-old she is wise and switched on and tells the story of the relationship between her and an eleven-year-old boy.
‘The boy’ who is never named in the story is rather obsessed by world records and he is also a boy scout. As part of a community project the boy comes to visit Ona to do odd jobs and the relationship blooms between the two. ‘The boy’ is totally obsessed with the Guinness World Records it is more than just a book. He even thinks Ona could qualify to be in the book itself. ‘The boy’ is different you could even say he is quirky, but Ona warms to him more than any of the other boy scouts that she rejected and the friendship is born and with that comes trust and she starts to open up to him. One thing that the reader may ask is why does ‘the boy’ have no name, but credit to Wood here it really works in a story like this.
Pretty quickly you get the feeling something is going to go wrong and when ‘the boy’ stops turning up Ona naturally believes he is just like other eleven-year-old boys with other things to do, sadly there is more to this story than this and when Quinn the boy’s father arrives to take his place Ona has other ideas and rejects the idea of being friends but they soon strike up a friendship and then naturally we start to realise that ‘the boy’ has died.
We meet Belle The boy’s mother and she is destroyed by the loss and grief she feels, but when both parents see how both Ona and the boy connected brings them hope as they come to terms with their own grief.
Death does play a major role in The One-in-a-Million Boy and how we deal with our own grief and it looks at opportunities that should have been taken.
The One-in-a-Million Boy is beautifully written and despite the theme is very much a joy to read and life-affirming. Monica Wood’s prose is a joy to behold and you will not want to leave the story. The characters we meet in the story are powerful in their own right and make this a magical read. One book that should not be missed.
Thank you to Caitlin Raynor and Headline for an advanced review copy.
The One-in-a-Million Boy written by Monica Wood is released by Headline on 5 April 2016.