Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

MiracleEve, or Evie as she prefers to be called, is a quiet, unassuming girl in her late 20s, given to daydreaming about what might have been. Life has had its ups and downs for her, but she seems to be sinking slowly into anonymity, living with her older sister and brother-in-law, helping out with the kids when she’s not at work in the stockroom of a rather run down department store that has definitely known better times.

Evie remains almost invisible to the rest of the staff, several of whom tend to unload their problems onto her, without even knowing her name. Hidden away in her own little empire in Hardy’s stockroom, she happens to overhear some very unwelcome news about the future of Hardy’s in the lead up to Christmas, coupled with the appearance of a charming and very handsome American.

There follows a catalogue of mistaken identities and misunderstandings, all of which conspire to cause Evie to try to turn the store’s fortunes around, her efforts largely unknown to the rest of the staff, using treasures she’s found in her stockroom, and helped by just a few close friends.

The author, Alli Harris, has woven an absolutely charming and delightful tale. It evoked for me memories of long-vanished stores in my own home town, of elegance, of the closeness of working communities, of a time when the customer mattered far more than profit. As I read the book, it struck me time and again, the story would be ideally suited for the screen!

Yes, it has a happy ending, but you’ll have to read the book to find out just how Evie manages it!

Broadland Wanderer

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