Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins
Release Date: 28th May 2018
Publisher: Avon
Genres:  Contemporary Fiction / Romance

Sometimes, happiness can be found where you least expect it…

Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Green has never been good at making friends. She’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. Or at least, that’s what she tells herself.
Nancy Ellis Hall was once a celebrated writer. Now eighty, she lives alone in her North London house, and thinks she’s doing just fine. But dementia is loosening Nancy’s grip on the world.

When Lana and Nancy become unconventional house mates, their lives will change in ways they never expected. But can an unusual friendship rescue two women who don’t realise they need to be saved?

An irresistible story of love, memory and the power of friendship that readers of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Lido will adore.

Sometimes it takes a few chapters before you start to really get into a book and the characters. With this book that didn't happen. It actually happened right from page 1! For a book to grab me straight away is quite unusual but thats what The Forgotten Guide to Happiness did. The main character Lana was just so engaging and likeable that I immediately warmed to her despite her desperation to cling onto her failed relationship. We've all been there and know that a broken heart completely messes with your brain.

Lana is a writer and her first book, based on her relationship with her boyfriend becomes an instant hit. Book 2 however not so much and it bombs just as much as the relationship finally did. For someone whose sole income is through their writing, this is not good news and Lana is forced to re-evaluate her life. Being completely broke will do that to you! A chance encounter in a pub with Jack who has his own set of problems with his step-mother Nancy who has dementia, soon sees Lana's life take an unexpected path, forming a friendship with the wonderfully quirky Nancy who I thought was just an amazing character with so much to offer Lana. Could Jack be Lana's new hero? Could Nancy? I found them both adorable! What super characters.

After reading this book I'm definitely a Sophie Jenkins fan. The writing is so beautiful and funny at the same time and completely immerses you in the story. Yes at times its often heartbreaking but its a story full of hope, love and a realization that our lives have many dimensions and often don't work out the way we'd expected or hoped but that's ok. Life is also about new opportunities and finding beauty in things we never expected. Sometimes its the small things that matter the most and love can be found where we least expect it. A brilliant book and a highly recommended read from me! 

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