Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer
Release Date: 10th January 2019
Publisher: Avon Books
Genres: Rom Com

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

I'm so thrilled that my first review of 2019 is for a book by a lovely lovely lady. I first met Jenni a couple of years ago at the Romantic Novelist Association's conference and I'm proud to call her a friend who now and again gives me words of wisdom or a good kick up the backside to get on with my own writing. I'm even more proud of the fact that today sees the publication of her debut novel The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker.

Sometimes reviewing a friend's book can be fraught with danger! What if you hate the book? What if you hate the writing style? How can you be honest without hurting their feelings, particularly when you know how much hard work they put into it. Thankfully however I didn't encounter any of those problems because Jenni has written a simply wonderful book!

Lucy Baker is not your typical 25 year old. She's not into the latest fashions. She's all about the comfort. She's not out-going or interested in clubbing. She'd rather sit at home and knit copies of her fave celebrities (a little bit obsessed with Poldark!) or get lost inside a steamy bodice buster romance. She's in a steady job in a toy suppliers and is surrounded by a host of co-workers, each with their own little quirks and stories. Lucy just gets on with her job and never questions anything or stands up for herself. A new manager arrives and soon starts to shake things up and Lucy knows she needs to change to keep her job.

 Lucy's friendship circle is fairly small, with her elderly neighbour Brenda right up there as her best friend. However, Lucy's life is to be tipped on its head with the arrival of a new neighbour, George. Tall, dark and super moody the elusive George isn't exactly initially viewed as a possible romantic partner but Brenda has other ideas for Lucy and with the help of a stray cat, an antique locket and a few spells, Lucy sets out to make George hers! Albeit, both do put up a bit of a fight and sometimes if feels as though the universe is conspiring against them!

This is such a beautiful book with a cast of characters that will make you instantly fall in love with each and every one of them, particularly the enigmatic Brenda who despite her memories slipping away is full of fun and mischief and her love for Lucy is evident. I adore her quirkiness and the little bit of mystery around her. Brenda is me in about 30 years time! I also particularly enjoyed how George's character evolved throughout the book and I really grew to like him.

The book very sensitively handles the issue of dementia. A difficult area to write about but Jenni has done this very well and in a very respectful way and in a way that makes the reader fall even more in love with Brenda. Lucy's kindness and her selflessness are portrayed beautifully. She is almost a younger, less quirky version of Brenda until the magic locket soon brings out the real Lucy who manages to get herself into all manner of hilarious situations in this book. This a beautiful, sad yet happy book about love, enduring friendships and overall kindness. It teaches us to never assume we know what a person's situation is. All may not be as it seems and we should always be mindful of that. This is such a wonderful and truly heartwarming read that I cannot recommend it highly enough. What a wonderful start to my year!


Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women's fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter @JenniKeer
Instagram jennikeer  


Giveaway to Win The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker goodies (UK Only)
Prize contains - 
 Thornton's fudge, a Nu notebook, a Hopes and Dreams bookmark and a set of five "Scratbag" blank greetings cards designed by Jenni Keer

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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