At its heart, The A to Z of Everything has a broken family. Poppy and Rose may have been close as kids, but the sisters are now estranged following one epic mistake which tore their little family unit of three apart
Now the sisters have both learned to live with this, their lives continuing, both of them… happy. But Andrea, their mother, still feels the gaping hole that the loss of her tight-knit family has left in her heart. Knowing that her time is short, Andrea isn’t about to give up on her last wish- of seeing her daughters reconciled- and leaves a gift to both of them. The A to Z of Everything.
The four key characters in A to Z are truly brilliant. Andrea’s larger than life character makes for a fantastic, ultimately tragic, ringleader. I cried buckets over Andrea. I completely fell in love with her- and through her- with her daughters too.
Louis, as Andrea’s very best friend and confidante, is exquisite in his grief. His viewpoint adds an unbiased and not always favourable take on the sisters and their past behaviour. A dose of reality which plays a useful counterpoint to Andrea’s never-ending, unconditional love for her girls. Andrea and Louis’s story is the most beautiful testament the different faces of love- and where true love can be found in your life.
And then we come to Poppy and Rose. So far estranged that being in the same room is so painful that it’s almost impossible. Poppy, who has locked down all emotion and softness from her life. Rose, who is a mother herself. Who can’t value herself. Who is still clinging to the past. Both sisters go through intense personal journeys throughout the book and emerge as completely different characters. Two voyages of re-discovery.
I finished the last page of The A to Z of Everything and instantly called my family– you know– made the connections that I might have been putting off for whatever reason. I love fiction that is so powerful that it pushes you to make changes in your own behaviour and real life- and The A to Z of Everything is one of the strongest examples of this. Debbie Johnson is a genius.
Stunning – a truly gorgeous book that I know I’ll be reading again and again.
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P is for Paris where it all began. J is for Jealousy where it all came undone. But the most important letter is F. F is for Forgiveness, the hardest of all.
Sisters Poppy and Rose used to be as close as two sisters could be, but it’s been over a decade since they last spoke. Until they both receive a call that tells them their mother has gone – without ever having the chance to see her daughters reunited.
Andrea, though, wasn’t the kind of woman to let a little thing like death stand in the way of her plans. Knowing her daughters better than they know themselves, she has left behind one very special last gift – the A-Z of Everything.
About Debbie Johnson
Debbie Johnson is an award-winning author who lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her
Her best-selling books for HarperCollins include The Birthday That Changed Everything, Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe, Cold Feet at Christmas, Pippa's Cornish Dream and Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper. Debbie's next title is The A-Z of Everything, released on April 20.
You can find her supernatural crime thriller, Fear No Evil, featuring Liverpool PI Jayne McCartney, on Amazon, published by Maze/Avon Books.
Debbie also writes urban fantasy, set in modern day Liverpool. Dark Vision and the follow-up Dark Touch are published by Del Rey UK, and earned her the title 'a Liverpudlian Charlaine Harris' from The Guardian.