The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson


Published: 4th May 2017
Simon & Schuster


When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her. As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?


Thank you to Simon & Schuster for kindly sending me a review copy.

The narrative begins with readers meeting their female narrator, Bonnie, a married woman working in an antique shop for a man who she’s not particularly fond of. Soon enough, she finds a better job in a new antique shop and takes all of her trustworthy customers and sellers with her. As well as her job, readers learn about her unhappy marriage to Stephen: they barely talk, he doesn’t let her have any control of the finances, they sleep in separate beds in separate rooms and quite frankly, I didn’t like him from the very beginning. But when he stood with her, in the kitchen, forcing her to go back to her old job, before slapping her across the face, I knew then that I very much didn’t like his character.

“Her dad’s voice was loud and clear in her head: If a man ever hits you, just once, you walk out of the door and you keep walking because if he’s done it once, it’ll happen again.”

Lewis, the male narrator of the story is the owner of the antique shop Pot of Gold where Bonnie begins to work relatively early on in the plot. Milly wrote Lewis brilliantly; he was calm, cool and collected even with troubles at home. His wife, Charlotte had suffered from a miscarriage a few years ago and since then, life hasn’t been the same since and when she’s not cooking at home, she’s spending every single penny in the shops. With both Lewis and Bonnie having relationship woes, will they turn to one another in the hope of something better?

“As grim as the police cell was, it was nothing compared to the prison that had been her marriage to Stephen Brookland.” 

Once Bonnie plucks up the courage to leave her husband, a grey cloud was lifted from her life and she become more of a cheerful character to read about. With her father leaving her surrounded by his loyal friends, it comes at no surprise when they all help her out in settling into her new home. It’s only when Bonnie files for divorce that her soon-to-be husband, Stephen claims that she hasn’t been the ray of sunshine that everyone thought she was. Yet, the surprises don’t stop there as during a birthday dinner, Lewis is in for quite a few surprises by his wife which were brilliantly timed and superbly written by Milly.

“There were more secrets in this case than in Harry Potter’s chamber.”

As the narrative draws to a close, I found myself reading the book even quicker than usual as the pace within the mystery of what Bonnie did, was so well written that I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. I’m never disappointed by any of Milly’s books and The Queen of Wishful Thinking is one to pick up before your holidays this summer. It’s well written, the characters are full of life, the friendliest of the antique community is heart warming and most of all, it’s a really good book.