Just One Wish

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Just One Wish is the latest piece of fiction from the hand of author Rachael Johns. It's set in Melbourne, Australia and presents to us the lives of three generations of women: Grandmother, Mother and Daughter.

As I read the first few chapters I thought meh, not sure I am going to get into this, and then wham the story sprang to life and all hell let loose. It has so much drama - family drama, going on. As well it explores all kinds of relationships, plus the role of a woman in today's world, what really matters in life, lost love and found love, and mostly being true to yourself.

Alice is the grandmother, she is a woman of science, and believed that it was really important to not have your life dictated by marriage and the need to have a man in your life. How does that pan out? Well in a very interesting way.

Her daughter Sappho is married to Tony and has two grown up children and a couple of grandchildren. She is a stay at home mother with a difference. She is the Happy Happy Housewife with a big following on You Tube and Instagram. However life is about to throw her a curve ball that really puts some spice into the family's life.

Ged is Sappho's daughter. The story is told from her point of view and this really worked well. Ged is a journalist, she adores her grandmother and wants to write the biography of Alice, such an inspiring woman. We meet Ged as she is dealing with a broken romance that she thought was going somewhere. Surprise! Well there are a few surprises for Ged, they come thick and fast.

I loved this family, the falling outs, the helping outs, all the things they have to deal with. The book is well written, once I was into it, I was reading along wondering what was going to happen next. Well worth the read.
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Just One Wish by Rachael Johns is a wonderful contemporary family drama contrasting the life experiences and choices of three generations of women.

“If I’ve realised one thing—perhaps too late—it’s that life isn’t black and white. It’s a million shades of grey and there isn’t one truth that fits everyone.”

Journalist Geraldine ‘Ged’ Johnston is heartbroken when her lover, and colleague, Carlos, announces his intention to move back in with his ex-wife for the sake of their children. Fortuitously, her grandmother, Alice Abbott who Ged calls Gralice, surprises her, and Ged’s mother, Sappho known as Marie, with a timely distraction, a three day Elvis themed cruise to celebrate Alice’s 80th birthday. Ged plans to use the opportunity to interview Gralice for a biography she hopes to publish detailing her grandmother’s many achievements as a feminist trailblazer, while her mother views the trip as fodder for her popular ‘Happy, happy Housewife’ online media persona, but Gralice has a hidden motive for the trip, a secret that will prove to have unexpected consequences for all of them. 

“In a matter of a month my life had become a soap opera—one in which I’d been forced to take a starring role when I didn’t even want to watch the show.”

Set in Victoria, Just One Wish unfolds from the first person perspective of Geraldine as her life, and the life of her family, is upended by a series of surprises. I enjoyed the complications and drama cantering around three very different, interesting women and the choices they make.

“‘I reckon no matter what choices we make in our lives, we’ll never know for sure if they are the right ones....”

The author touches on a wide spectrum of themes including family, marriage, relationships, feminism, euthanasia, homosexuality, and social media, but it’s Johns’ exploration of the differing ambitions of Alice, Marie, and Ged that I found the most relatable. My mother, whose traditional father felt that teaching or nursing were the only acceptable professions for a woman until she married, has always been ambitious, and worked full time in a number of careers until retirement. I greatly admire her drive, but I know she was disappointed when I chose to go into teaching, married young, and then later became a stay at home mother to four children (and wanted more). My eldest daughter is now in her early twenties, and though she is not ambitious exactly, neither marriage nor children are on her radar. So, I identify with the tension between the three women, borne of generational and personal ideals.

Written with heart and humour, Just One Wish is an entertaining and thought provoking read that will appeal to women of all ages.

P.S. Rachael, hope you don’t mind but I was thinking Jay = Ditch Davey circa Sea Patrol ;)
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Geraldine (Ged)’s grandmother was turning eighty and during the family celebrations Gralice (grandma Alice) produced tickets for Ged, her daughter Sappho (Marie) and herself for a girls’ cruise for them to reconnect, have a good time before it was too late. It was only three nights, but it was the coming weekend, so Ged knew she needed to sweet-talk her boss into giving her the time off. Ged was a journalist and loved her work plus she was up for a promotion as the boss was retiring.

Gralice and Sappho didn’t always see eye to eye with Sappho being resentful of her upbringing. But her new fame on the internet with her vlog as the “Happy happy housewife” and her many followers made Sappho realize how much she enjoyed the fame. Ged found herself on many occasions stuck in the middle of her mother and beloved grandmother.

The relaxing cruise which was designed to bring the three women closer together had much more to offer, and suddenly Ged’s life was falling apart. After they arrived home things became markedly worse. Ged felt pulled one way and then the other – could she possibly cope with what was happening? The secret which had remained hidden for fifty years was shattering. Her life was in tatters…

Just One Wish by Aussie author Rachael Johns is a heartwarming, heartbreaking story of family, secrets, betrayal and love. There was much going on in this novel, many issues were covered with the ending emotional and wonderful. A read I thoroughly enjoyed, Just One Wish is one I highly recommend.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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Just One Wish is about family...mothers, daughters and grand daughters and of course....secrets!
Gralice is turning 80 years old, she has always been a career woman, trailer blazer and a single mother.Her daughter Sappho has always been happy as a home maker and is now revelling in the social media realm with a successful housewife vlog. Grand daughter Ged has just broken up with her boyfriend and is a little lost. So it is with great surprise and a little trepidation that the three woman agree to go on an Elvis Tribute cruise after Gralice produces tickets for them.

What can I say, I love Rachael John’s novels. They make laugh, smile and be happy! I enjoyed all these characters and their little quirks. There was a lot of subject matter covered in this book which I don’t want to go into as I think it would give too much of the content away. But I found it very enjoyable while still giving food for thought. 
And okay, I admit I had to google ‘Michael Fassbender’.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to review.
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Rachael Johns I am in awe of how you bring to life characters and take on issues and subjects that are all important and happening now and turn them into stories that pull me in, have me turning the pages and forgetting what else is going on in life and when I have to put the book down the characters are still running through my mind no matter what I am doing, you have done it magnificently, I loved Alice, Sappho, Ged and the characters in this story, thank you.

Alice Abbott is turning eighty, she has been a strong woman, a single mum, worked as a professor at a university, worked tirelessly for woman’s rights has had honours bestowed upon her, but she decides that it might be time to open up about a few things and spending time with her daughter Sappho and beloved granddaughter Ged on a cruise might be a start.

Sappho is now fifty five happily married, the mother of two children and a grandmother, Sappho or Marie as she is known to most people has discovered social media and is making a name for herself with her love of domesticity totally opposite to her mother’s career and who has not always been close to her mother for lots of reasons, but happily looks forward to the cruise she brings along her assistant to help with work on the cruise.

Geraldine or Ged as she is known to her family and friends is a journalist she is extremely close to her grandmother Alice or Gralice and she is known to her family, but Ged has just broken up with her boyfriend of one year and is feeling a little stressed but when Alice agrees to allow Ged to start writing the biography that she has always wanted to she is more than happy to go. 

This is a compelling page turner, MS Johns had me guessing a lot about how things would work out for these three beautiful woman, and she did it wonderfully. This cruise together started the ball rolling on some secrets that had been kept for many years, the emotions flow between them with Ged keeping the peace at times, there were lots of revelations about each one of them, that had them all thinking about themselves and thinking to the future.

This story is about being yourself, doing what is right for you, the love and feelings that flowed were wonderful and I did shed tears, (I am still crying) but there are lots of happy smiles as well in this heart-warming must read story, a little bit of everything in this story and it is one that I highly recommend, thank you MS Johns I loved it.
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Just One Wish is the latest offering from Rachael Johns and it engaged me from the start.  

The three strong female characters were relatable and realistic - I adored feisty Alice/Gralice from the start, 80 years young the matriarch of the family, a  proud feminist  with a quick wit that made me chuckle many times through the book. Her daughter Marie/Sappho is everything Alice wasn't,  a proud wife and domestic goddess with an Instragram profile called the Happy Happy Housewife. Geraldine or Ged is the peacemaker between her two role models, her Grandmother and Mother and is the novel's central character.

At Gralice's 80th Birthday she announces that she is taking Sappho and Ged on an Elvis Presley Themed cruise the next day for three nights and it is this event that changes their lives over the coming months.

I find Rachael writes in a way that captures the reader and I do find you end up binge reading her novels as the story just flows and you become invested and need to know what is going to happen to the characters, I was constantly thinking ohhh I bet this happens or that happens and some of my guesses were right but this is what spurred me on, what secrets did each of these ladies have and how was their secrets going to impact each other.  

The supporting characters were integral to the story, passionate and flawed, I loved them all and I think I even developed a crush on Jay! There were moments where I would laugh and other times I would be moved to tears.

This book will be another huge success for Rachael and I highly recommended it.  Thank you to Net Galley and Harper Collins for the ARC.
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A cross generational "road trip" featuring 3 generations of lovely ladies from the same family.

Ged, Gralice and Sappho have embarked on this journey together, however secrets and betrayal tear them apart rather than bring them together.

Ms Johns writes these flawed characters with such realism that there could always be at least one character per book that is in our family or our circle of friends. They are warm and loving, however nobody is perfect and it makes them more enjoyable and relatable.

The story flows and is completely engaging. I needed to know what was going to happen with these ladies, so I had to keep turning each page.

I look forward to more of Ms Johns work in the future.
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This is a wonderful book about three women from the same family at very different stages of their lives but all with a secret that they are keeping from one or both of the other females in the family.  You can always count on Racheal Jones giving you a bit of everything with her stories from Crying, Laughing, Frustration, Amusement, Hope and most of all Love.  This story was a can’t put down read as ones you started you just had to keep going to the very end no matter what the time or responsibilities your real-life sent your way.  My two favourite characters in this book were Gralice and Ged there love and respect for each other had me missing my gran while reading this book. 
The fun all starts when the three – Grandmother, Mother and Daughter so on a cruise to celebrate Alice’s (Gralice) 80th birthday.  It comes as a surprise to Sappho and Ged but they go along to please Alice.
Alice is a woman that has achieved many great things during her lifetime and has fought for many different issues along the way.  She is known for her work with the women movements, she is a scientist and was a single mother many many decades before it was accepted in our society.

Her daughter Sappho is the complete opposite to her mother she is a homemaker to wich her husband and family come first before anything else.  She has become a social media goddess and is all the Happy Housewife.  Cooking, Cleaning and keeping your family happy guide for the modern wife.
Geraldine (Ged) is a journalist and the pease maker between her Grandmother and her mother as they differ between their belives.  Ged thought her world was all good until the afternoon of her Grandmothers 80th Birthday, all the walls come crumbling down.  So a cruise for a long weekend might just be what she needs right now….Until she finds out is an Elvis Revival cruise.

All three will not realise that this cruise will start a fifty-year secret and all their worlds will change forever some good some bad but most of all full of secrets.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this great book.  My review is my honest and voluntary opinion.
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I have discovered so many great Aussie Authors this year and I am adding Ms Johns to this list! This is my first book by this author and I really liked her writing style and enjoyed the story.

As the synopsis states this is a story of 3 generations of woman all from the one family where a secret kept for over 50 years changes the whole dynamic of this close loving and non stereotypical family.

Set in Melbourne Victoria, it is told solely through the eyes of the granddaughter Geraldine, or Ged as she liked to be called. Ged is a journalist and was more in sync and closer to her Grandmother Alice, whom she affectionately called Gralice (which personally made me cringe) than her own mother Marie.

I could guess where this story line was going very early on in the book but there were a couple of twists that I didn't see coming which was great.

At times I found the pacing a little bit slow with conversations and details that I felt could have been left out without affecting the flow or delivery of the story.

The book is reflective of what are the hot issues and topics of conversation in Australia in 2019, thus making it feel very current, Topics such as the environment, feminism, aged care and euthanasia included. Overall a great read and looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Australia and Author Rachael Johns for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.
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Just One Wish

A modern family drama, relationships, womens issues and shocking secrets harboured away for a lifetime 

From the start Just One Wish is a super bubbly pace read and is totally engaging.  It’s a story of three generations of strong women, their secrets, ambitions and life choices. 

Grandmother - Alice, is an university lecturer, scientist and renowned women's activist
Mother - Sappho, is a stay at home house wife, domestic goddess and Instagram/You Tube social media sensation
Daughter - Ged, is a brilliant journalist with her sights on a promotion

Alice has turned 80 and decides to buy cruise tickets for her daughter and granddaughter so they can all go on a lovely four day ‘Elvis’ themed cruise together.  Each of the women are diversely different and their characters are likeable, relatable and at times quirky.  This is a look into the complexities of a family saga, with witty moments and also times of extreme sadness. 

I didn’t know what to expect but found it an entertaining and easy read, it didn't disappoint. I’m interested to read more from this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for the ARC
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Just One Wish by Rachael Johns was unputdownable in its entirety. This reader was glued to the pages from start to finish. The story is told through Geraldine’s (Ged’s) character, impacted greatly by the history of her grandmother, Gralice; a history that has consequences for Ged’s (Geraldine’s) family as a whole. This story is a must read that is sure to bring the laughs, and some tears, frustrations and cheers. Ms Johns captures the best and worst in the human psyche in a story filled with perfectly imperfect characters that I would gladly return to and read again and again.
Review copy received by Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley
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Rachael Johns does it again. She’s produced another fantastic story filled with relatable and interesting characters that go on a journey filled with emotion, warmth and growth. I say it each time I review one of her books – but it is her characterisation that I love the most. She creates different, quirky characters that inevitably touch you.  In her latest book Johns deals with the issues of women, feminism and modern domesticity. She gives us three strong women leads who are diversely different yet love each other They are grandmother, Alice (or Gralice as she is referred to throughout the story – I loved that!) Sappho, her daughter and granddaughter, Geraldine (Ged).  I adored the relationship between Alice and Ged, so envious of the closeness they shared.  Reading a Rachael Johns novel is seamless, it all comes together so nicely and is such a joyful ride along the way. I adored this book and would highly recommend it.
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Geraldine Johnston (Ged) is a kick-ass journalist who appears to have it all. A great career, a likely promotion, romance a plenty with her boyfriend Christos, and a loving family headed by matriarch/feminist/activist grandmother Alice. Ged intends to write a book about her beloved "Gralice..

However, in the space if a few weeks Ged finds herself out of love with Christos, because he’s gone back to his wife and three children. She finds herself drowning her sorrows with cocktails on an Elvis cruise with Gralice, her mother Sappho, .... and Sappho's assistant Rosa? Sounds like a hoot! 

But, Sappho is a YouTube and instagram sensation who touts the return of new domesticity and the virtues of keeping a tidy home, getting stains out of laundry, and partaking in all things crafty and wholesome.  Say what? 

On the cruise she meets Jay, and she is overwhelmingly attracted to him but totally infuriated by his stance on relationships and feminism. What does she care anyway? Neither are interested in anything serious - she acknowledges she’s on the rebound and he’s headed to Mars. Seriously?

And so we follow the next eight months of ups and downs in Ged’s life which is a touching story about the rich fabric of family life. The characters, dimensions, relationships and people’s histories are woven together and narrated from Ged’s point of view, with great one-liners from Gralice, who is so pragmatic and downright hilarious. 

Love lost, love found, and every day life in all its colour. One of the quotes from Sappho that sticks with me is “if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few months it’s that nothing worth anything comes easily”. The other clanger quote gives away some spoilers so I won’t post it in this review [but it’s when Ged is taking some leave from work and there is a bit of a farewell].

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. Thank you Rachael Johns for giving me more in this book than I’d hoped. Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I will be posting this review to my instagram @aplace_inthesun.
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Just One Wish is a beautiful story of 3 generations of women all from the one family.                                            Rachael has written this book in the first person which personally I like as it feels like you get a much deeper connection with the characters.
Geraldine or Ged as her family call her is the leading female character and it is her story we are living. She is strong, independent and young and is about to embark on a journey with her grandmother and her mother. 
Gralice is the matriarch of the family and is a unique woman who started off her adult life helping to bring about women's independence. She is a very strong character and one of the 3 female leads in this book. I feel she is the star of this story. 
Sappho is Gralice's daughter and the mother of Ged.  When Ged introduces her to social media a whole other world is there to be found. 

This is more than a story about family it's a story where each generation of these women has her own life and independence. Each one is strong and undertakes her own personal  journey to find herself and prove that being true to yourself is the most important thing there is. 

Rachael has written a deeply powerful story about second chances and the close bond of a family.  Her story reminds us that it's not all happiness, sunshine and roses and that sometimes life kicks you from behind and when that happens where will you go.

Rachael writes with care and she pulls you in, tugs at your heart strings, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy then boom, she brings you crashing down. 

Rachael is a master story teller and this would have to be her best book yet.
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This story centres on Ged whose lover has just ended their relationship to return to his wife and children and give it another go. Her grandmother Alice, who everyone refers to as 'Gralice' (for some reason this name really irritated me) is a University lecturer, scientist and renowned feminist. Ged's mother, Marie, is a stay at home mother who is an internet sensation as the 'Happy, happy housewife'. Ged struggles with the animosity between her two female role models and is often the peacemaker between them.
On the night of Gralice's 80th birthday an announcement is made that will change the course of Ged, Alice and Marie's lives profoundly. 
This book is a realistic look at the complexity of families, feelings and life.  It has a lot of humour, a lot of sadness and I am sure it will resonate with a lot of readers.
Thank you Harlequin Australia, HQ, Mira and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this digital ARC.
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A wonderful book from Rachael.
3 generations of women in the one  family, all with their own issues.
The story blends them well and the storyline is really sweet.
Very sad at the end, but also good.
I would love to read more from Rachael, she has an easy flowing writing style, and makes you feel that it could be real and not just a story.
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I really enjoyed the pace of this novel , the way it moved forward from
Chapter to chapter without unnecessary detail . Totally invested in the main characters and their outcomes . Loved the way modern themes weaved through the book in a balanced,  two sided view point . My favourite Rachael Johns novel to date!
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Just One Wish is a passionate and powerful family saga. It is a book that is going to have it readers talking about it. Every family has secrets and Ged’s family is no different, well so I thought. 
The story is one that you will not want to put down, believe me I kept saying just one more chapter and off to sleep well I said it all night and finished the book. Oops!!!
This story will grab your attention from the moment you open the book. 
The story of Ged and her family, portrays real life dramas and consequences. I am sure everyone that reads this whether young or old will be able to relate to one of the characters. I must say related to Sappho in the since of being a mum and blogging and Instagramming, I don’t do vlogs as I stay behind the camera. 
  I thoroughly enjoyed every moment in this book all the way to the end, which of course I am not going to spoil for Rachael’s fans and readers. 
Whether you are a fan of Rachael’s or a debut reader of hers then you are going to enjoy this book and you will want to read more by her. Rachael’s books get better and better with every new one she releases. Rachael is one of my go to Authors as you are never disappointed. 
Also, this would be a great book for book clubs to read as there is so many different topics that you can delve into and see all the opinions that come out about their secrets and their choices. 
For a book to keep me up all night and read it deserves a top rating if I could give it more then 5, I would. 
I praise Rachael for the brilliant characters and story line that she has written. It is full of twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages. 
Rachael has made me want to go a cruise more after reading this, not an Elvis one but I think I could definitely like the cruise lifestyle and the cocktails. Rachael your shout!!!
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