My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England
- Women’s Adventure
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?
The Forgotten Guide To Happiness
Well, I am a little perplexed as to where to start with this review. I have so many thoughts shuffling around in my head. At the start of TFGTH, we meet Lana a successful but skint author of one book. Her book was written from experience in her own life and of course, the hero in the book has just broken her heart in real life so when she writes the follow up it’s fueled with bitter tones and is deeply depressing. With her life in a mess, she looks for inspiration for a rewrite of book 2.
I really loved the first half of the book. I was excited and energised by the writing and the uplifting feel it gave me. Lana was someone I liked and I was interested in her journey. As we are introduced to a whole host of other characters the main one that I adored and will remember for a long time was a heart stay character called Nancy. I don’t want to give too much away, so all I will say is that the way the heart-wrenching dementia storyline was handled by Jenkins was beautiful. Using a gentle stroke of humour to pull the reader out of the sadness was a complete genius. The modern-day references to authors and places are really lovely and it enhances the feel of the book.
For me personally, something happened to the progress of the book that didn’t quite work. The Lana I thought I knew changed completely into someone I really didn’t like and I was so disappointed. Also, the not quite knowing if some of the writing was for her book or part of the main story made me a little confused.
One thing that will stay with me long after the last page closed is the addition of Harvey Bristol Cream in the book. It’s mentioned a lot, so much so I had to go and buy a bottle to see just what it’s like. To my amazement, there is NO cream. In my mind, it was going to be all sweet and yummy. It’s very different but I liked the experience of trying something new.
I’ve not had a book hangover in a long time but The Forgotten Guide To Happiness did indeed give me one.
Overall I would say it’s a good book with some corker stand out moments.
Sophie Jenkins’s debut novel The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is published by Avon. After studying creative writing at City University, Sophie took an MA in Prose Fiction at Middlesex University and finds that the creative stimulation of belonging to writing groups wonderfully balances the solitude of writing. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives in lively north London. In The Forgotten Guide to Happiness, Sophie explores the enduring happiness of love that persists even when memories are fading, and its life-changing effect on those who witness it.
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