A Year Of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman || [spoiler free] Review


When I picked up A Year Of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman, I hadn't the faintest idea what to expect. The name sounded vaguely familiar but due to the heaps of booktubers I follow, that doesn't mean much nowadays (modern day problems). I went into the pages entirely blind, and to be honest, apprehensive. This genre of book is not one I'm familiar with, at all, and after recently finishing up Wild by Cheryl Strayed, my mind craved for something else that could be thought provoking and inspiring. I wanted beautiful words written on a page, and a last chapter that would cause my heart to swell up to three sizes. Boy, oh boy, did A Year Of Marvellous Ways deliver. Here is my spoiler free review of the magic.

Set in 1947, this story follows an elderly lady, also known as Marvellous Ways, who sits by a creek in Cornwall, waiting for her final story to come to pass. And a young and grieving solider, Francis Drake, who is looking for something to keep him grounded to the earth. Lost, needing companionship, and a reason for everything.. they come together like a sand and water. Friendships blossom, loves arise, broken hearts are mended, and fate is sealed. I hate being the person to say this, but I have to.. I can't fully delve into the story as it's one that you just have to experience for yourself. I know, I know. Annoying. BUT! Really, you do. There isn't even a specific direction to it all until the final chapter, and then everything just seems to click in the most wonderful of ways. Gah, I loved this. So much. A Year Of Marvellous Ways is almost a story of stories - of love, different people, connections you make in life, the ocean, mermaids (not literally.. well..), and untouched pure humans who steal your heart and refuse to give it back.

You aren't delving into this world feet first, you're just there as a shadow - watching the world unravel itself for you. You listen to Marvellous's stories beside Drake, drinking in each and every beautiful word and ache for the losses from both sides. The strange and wonderfully weird Marvellous steals your heart within chapters, and the wounded solider gradually gains your love and respect. It's just.. beautiful. All of it. That may of been my favourite aspect of this story - the stark differences in Drake and Marvellous. It's like night and day. You have the young man who has seen too much in life, and the elderly woman who sees through the eyes of a child. The man who feels the pain, and the woman who replaces the pain with hope for a better day. They mesh like mother and son, but care like friends. Beautiful. All of it, beautiful. *Throws my hands in my air as I give up trying to get across how beautiful this book is*

I actually didn't have any quims about this world - I mean, book -, the only thing that semi tugged on my problematic side was the style of which it was written. No quotation marks! The horror! Okay, I'm kidding. It just confused me at times, especially when we were switching between old stories and the current time, with no specific specifications until someone spoke. But you know, the more I got into the world, the more that seemed endearing to me. To me (ever the over thinker), it represented Marvellous. Her mind. Her confusion when mixing the past and present. I don't know, I may just love the book a tad too much and am now finding everything beautiful. Oh! It did make me want a gin, a lot. Is that a quim?

If words speak to you and you like a little poetic rhythm with your reading.. pick this one up. I can't promise it will touch you as it touched me, but I'm not normally one for this genre and I absolutely loved it. So if you are? Then you're likely to also adore this. If you're not, try it anyway. Get through the first few chapters (as it will seem a little odd - but as with anything in life, you just have to adapt to the new. A thing us humans do not do enough.), and I guarantee the characters and world will grab you.

It truly was Marvellous, in many ways. (Yes, I have been itching to write that down since starting this review. Sue me!)

- Anne x

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