Arc Review: Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Expected Release: May 18th 2017 by HQ

Rating: 5 out of 5


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Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?



If ever there was a book to make you think about how you treat your family members then this one will really get you thinking. I almost gave up around 8% because I was so angry at Feather's mother. This book brings in how important it is to have a firm knit of friends around you, and also dispels that ever burning issue. What do other's think of me? Is it enough to make me never want to leave the house again? Am I worried about what other people will think about what I look like? Am I concerned that others will laugh and joke about the way I look? There are a whole host of other problems going on in Wishbones, from anorexia to immigrants to ignorance, this book throws everything in and more.

First and foremost, meet Feather. She's an exceptional girl, fourteen years old and a complete sweetheart. She's got an older head on her shoulders, mainly because of her mother's condition. She loves her mum, Josi, very much. She washes her mum's hair, brushes it daily for her, makes sure her mum is up and dressed before Feather even thinks about herself and school. She enjoys sitting and watching tv with her mum as they laugh and joke about the shows they watch.

But Feather carries a huge burden. She's lost most of her friends because of her mum. Her only friend is Jake, who she's known since a baby. Josi and Jake's mum were best friends but had a big falling out which puts more pressure on Jake and Feather.

Then there are the people in the village who are all very good to Feather but over time Feather starts to realise they're all keeping secrets from her. Of course, everyone in this book throw her off by saying 'Speak to your mother.' Except Josi won't speak to Feather. She won't say anything.

The story begins at New Year when Josi has an accident. She's unconscious on the floor in a room she hasn't left in five years. To Feather's dismay Josi has to be craned out of her house because she's so morbidly obese she can't be carried out. Feather knows her mum would hate this. Josi hates hospitals. Feather is sure its her fault but after speaking to the nurses (or overhearing them) she finds out her mother has at most six months to live because of diabetes and her obesity. Feather puts together a plan. Get her mum healthy again. Feather can't bear the thought of life without her mum.

She tries to get her dad to help but he's reluctant. Instead Feather turns to Jake who promises he'll do what he can. When Josi comes home Feather starts putting her plan into practice but no matter how hard she tries, her mum and her dad don't want Feather's nutritious food, nor agree when Feather takes her mum's TV away, or puts her dads bed in the front room with her mum's bed. Surely her mum and dad must love each other and want to be together instead of sleeping in separate rooms like they have been doing for the last five years.

All her good intentions come to a head when Feather finds a box of photos that apparently shouldn't exist. Her parents always told Feather they didn't take any pictures when she was small. The photos prove that her mum was once fit and healthy and her dad helped in the community. They weren't the people they are now.

Slowly Feather unravels this trail of lies she's been told over the years, and the shock near the end puts Feather over the edge. She's had to pay for events that happened years past. But everyone thinks because she doesn't know, it cannot hurt her.

This book was a tale of agony and redemption. It's hurtful, harrowing and yet helpful in the same turn. I found myself incredibly angry in parts and partly sad in others. But at no time did I think there wasn't a solution that could be found. This is an excellent example of people living and reliving their worst nightmares and dwelling on them without moving forward. If only they'd sought guidance, they wouldn't have put Feather through all her misery.

I've given this 5 out of 5 not because it was a fantastic escapism story that I usually enjoy but because there are so many poignant stigmas which I think this book helps lift.

Above all I learned this. You cannot look into the past to live your future. The past is gone. All you can do is move on with one foot then the other.

Feather's village life is wonderfully colourful and depicted beautifully in Wishbones. A must read book!



About the Author

Virginia Macgregor is currently Head of Creative Writing at Wellington College. Her debut novel WHAT MILO SAW was published by Sphere in hardback in July 2014 to rave reviews. Sphere have just signed a deal for two further adult novels from Virginia, to be published in 2017 and 2018.

You can find Virginia Macgregor here:


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