Days of Wonder
by Keith Stuart, Hachette
This tender tale of single father Tom’s relationship with his 15-year-old daughter tugs at every heartstring. The Somerset, UK, actor and Willow Tree Theatre manager has been caring for Hannah since mother Elizabeth left when she was five; the same year Hannah was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which will cut short her life. Every year he and the actors put on a surprise for her birthday – the first when she glimpsed “real fairies” from her bedroom window; the cast dressed up and dancing in glowing leotards. “He called them the Days of Wonder, because he said wonder beat everything,” she confides. As Hannah’s heart begins to fail, she searches for a partner for Dad when she is gone. The sweetness is in the inventive world Tom has created to divert Hannah from her illness - their “I Dare You To Wear” game nights, when clad in the dorky second-hand clothes they have bought each other, they go out for dinner. “He’d like to bubble wrap me,” Hannah confides to us in sequential father/daughter chapters.
But there are many more days of wonder to come.