I Wished for You is Amy Huberman's second book, her first being Hello, Heartbreak. We know Amy from the hilariously funny TV series Threesome where she lives with her rather drippy husband Mitch (Stephen Wight) and their gay best friend Richie (played by the gorgeous dark eyed Emun Elliot), and of course for being the other half of Brian O'Driscoll ('In BOD we trust').
Published by Penguin Ireland, Amy is writing about someone we all know- the perfect couple, together several years, bought a flat, nearly thirty...not yet married. This story tells what happens when that partner eventually proposes and Grace, the main protagonist has to decide, what is her hearts wish?
Nicely opening with the beautiful Yeats poem "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven", we launch into what we quickly suspect is going to be a bit of a romp.
We're in a changing room where Grace, a professional stylist is with a client. Only a few lines in and we're already guffawing, "She was showing so much cleavage it looked like a bum mooning out of a car window". With long-term partner Robbie, her relationship is challeneged by her client, "still no ring" she shrieks.
Grace is a fashion lover/addict as well as being obsessed with old Hollywood movies. Having completed an MA in Creative Business, the problem is she doesn's really know what she wants to do. At a wedding rehearsal for her best friend she is overwhelmed by one thought...why wasn't it her? Questioning her relationship, "it'll be you and Robbie next" is all people say to her. Catching Robbie's eye over her terrible bridesmaid dress she says, "Bless him, I could read him like a book (one that I could understand. Not Ulysses. or anything in German). The book is just packed with these comic asides.
The dialogue zooms along like a stand-up comedian on speed, not taking a breath between gags. Her characters are larger than life; the rich woman she dresses very like the mad Pauline McLynn mother character in Threesome. All the old Hollywood stars are there in her life, the cat is even called Bette Davis.
Having a bit of a crisis, the bonkers Grace heads to New York with Robbie. Now expecting a proposal, when he eventually does, in a very public place she freaks and everything, as they say, goes 'Pete Tong'. Realising that she prefers the ideal world of film escapism which "held the promise of far happier endings than any I knew of", she now has to decide what she really wants.
You couldn't fail to love Amy, she's just always smiling and so cute and with this book she has produced just a bundle of fun. The dialogue is fast moving (it needs a speeding ticket!) and the gags are all there, peppering the page. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't get a good laugh from this lovely book and the funny character that is Grace. A perfect pressie for all the girls in your life, you might even find the men having a secret snort as they pick it up to 'pretend' to flick through it!