alison wonderland – helen smith

Alison Wonderland

I was contacted by the author, asking whether I would review this book.  It sounded quirky, and I’m a sucker for London-set stories, so I was happy to oblige.

When twenty-something Alison suspects her husband of playing away from home, she hires a PI to confirm her suspicions.  When her marriage disolves, she impulsively decides to take a job with the same PI firm and embrace single life.

Some time later, she takes a road trip with her best friend Taron who has had her checking which areas she would most likely find an abandoned baby to give as a gift to her mother who she believes is a witch.  An unfortunate series of coincidences mean that Alison and Taron become embroiled in a darker plot which comes to its climax in secret tunnels below London.

This was a gorgeous, whimsical storythat was quite magical in its own way.  All of the characters were slightly quirky – including Jeff, Alison’s poem-writing neighbour who was in love with her and her psychic postman.

Some of the observations on human nature are absolutely spot on, but don’t seem at all convoluted at all.  For example, “People who work in offices are crazy, and they create an environment they hate, write rules they want to break, cast each other in roles they despise.”  I have worked in those offices (although luckily not in my current job!)

There’s a lovely section about having to wear buy and wear tights – something I’m sure most office-working ladies have complained about at various points in their lives.  Not so amusing for men, but this book definitely isn’t aimed at them.

This is a lovely quirky little tale, with good humour, great observation, surreal twists and a little darkness.  I really, really enjoyed it, and felt I’d lost a friend when I got to the end and had to part ways with Alison and her motley crew.


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