Who would have expected poor old Wilf Broadhurst to have a happy Christmas in 1986?
Certainly not his doctor, whose only recommendation is that he should get out more: perhaps he might get a dog, start going to church, or even start going to the pub!
Why was Wilf so unhappy? His wife had died the previous year, he lives alone, he has virtually no friends or family, and he lost touch with his only daughter nearly thirty years previously, as a result of a family dispute which broke his heart.
And yet this story is wonderfully uplifting, not depressing! In fact it is exactly the kind of story everybody needs at Christmas, for through a combination of determination, resourcefulness and a little bit of luck (not forgetting the contribution of Boots, his little dog), Wilf defies all expectation and enjoys his best Christmas for years! You will enjoy reading how his life was transformed!
This is the verdict of 'Rose', one of many happy readers...
"What a lovely story this is. For most of the book the voice of the narrator sounded almost as though this story was being read aloud - being told as a family history. If you have ever watched This is Your Life, it felt a little like that, as Wilf's story unfolded in vivid detail. The title doesn't give anything away about the story, so it was a surprise to be taken back in time to recent history where prejudice was more widespread and open than it is today, and read about the choices the characters in the story made and why, and the repercussions of those actions. A family saga spanning several generations, the book is ultimately hopeful, as serendipity gives us a dénouement that had this reader in tears several times on the train!"
Is this just a Christmas story?
No, definitely not! It finishes at Christmas, and Father Christmas certainly has a part to play, but the whole story of Wilf's loneliness and unhappiness, and the way he strives to defeat the paralysis of depression has nothing whatever to do with Christmas. It is a happy story which celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, at whatever time of year it happens to be!
A Happy Christmas was longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.