Evie really is invisible in the London she inhabits. She’s not called by her correct name at Hardy’s by the staff who visit her in the stockroom to tell her all their problems or by the yummy mummies at the nursery her niece and nephew attend. She also dresses in drab clothing. Evie has cultivated this ‘non identity’ for reasons that become clear to the reader as the story unfolds.
Rupert, the great grandson of the founder, now manages Hardy’s. We get to know Evie’s history with Hardy’s, which is linked to the perfect relationship of her parents and the sparkle of her childhood. Evie has an idealised view of her parent’s love that’s been perpetuated by them. Falling into the job in the stockroom she is such a success at it that two years later she is still there. Her aspirations of promotion are denied and then she overhears the conversation that changes many things in not only her life but in her colleagues too.
Evie is living with her elder sister Delilah throughout the story. She’s always looked up to her and wanted to emulate her. Delilah is married with two children and Evie looks after the children before work and afterwards. The stresses on a relationship of family life with young children are portrayed very well. We also get to experience family life when Evie and her siblings go back to the family home for a meal – a tradition that is held once a month.
There are some brilliant characters in Miracle on Regent Street, not least of them Evie herself. Evie tells us the story and despite what she sees as herself failing, is such a warm and chatty person, asking rhetorical questions that pull the reader in, making them feel a part of the whole journey. She is a ‘fixer’ – listening to everyone’s problems and subtly making suggestions that help to make changes. Being invisible suits her for where she is in her life but we get to see her start believing in herself and blossoming. The characters of the store employees are also brilliant – especially the group who see Evie for who she really is.
The romance of the story is not just about Hardy’s trying to recover its former glory, but also about the two leading men … Sam, the down-to-earth delivery guy and Joel who is gorgeous and charismatic (and who is a friend of Rupert’s). I couldn’t make my mind up who was right and so wasn’t sure who I really wanted to ‘support’. These storylines were cleverly crafted!
I absolutely adored 'The Wardrobe' ... and the part it plays in Evie coming to life. The night in with sister Delilah left me wanting to know what other gems were hidden in there!
The plots of romance and family life are played out with the backdrop of Hardy’s there all the time. I loved the descriptions of the architecture of the store and of how it used to be. Once changes started happening, I loved the descriptions told through Evie’s eyes. There are some fabulous scenes in Hardy’s that made me laugh, made me cry and made me sigh with longing! The finale was just perfect (as was the epilogue).
There were a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming. Not that I needed that as Miracle on Regent street had my full absorption from beginning to end. I don’t think my review has done it justice!
If there is one book that I thought would be fabulous as a movie it has to be this one. It would be an amazing chick flick and not just for Christmas. It would be one to watch again and again for that feel-good factor (and would knock my favourite, Pretty Woman, off the top spot).
You can also read my review on my book blog Jera's Jamboree http://shazjera.blogspot.com/