Sunday, 11 December 2011

Books Read: Lucy Dillon - The secret of happy ever after

Source - Bought (Tesco)

When Anna takes over Longhampton's bookshop, it's her dream come true.  And not just because it gets her away from her rowdy stepchildren and their hyperactive Dalmation.

As she unpacks boxes of childhood classics, Anna can't shake the feeling that maybe her own fairytale ending isn't all that she'd hoped for.  But as the stories of love, adventure, secret gardens and giant peaches breathe new life into the neglected shop.  Anna and her customers get swept up in the magic too.

Even Anna's best friend Michelle - who categorically doesn't believe in true love and handsome princes - isn't immune.

But when secrets from Michelle's own childhood come back to haunt her, and disaster threatens Anna's home, will the wisdom and charm of the stories in the bookshop help the two friends - and those they love - find their own happy ever after?

Having recently only just finished reading Lucy Dillon's previous book, Walking Back to Happiness, I was expecting an enjoyable read that I could curl up on a cold winter's day and get stuck in and I wasn't disappointed. 

The book follows two main characters, Anna and her friend Michelle.  Anna struggling with her desire to have a child of her own and having 3 step-daughters living with her, 2 of which are teenagers with all the trials and dramas that they bring to the table, and Michelle who is the efficient business woman but who is emotionally detached.

Michelle is already the owner of one shop, Home Sweet Home, but seizes on the opportunity to expand her business by leasing the shop next door.  However, there is one stipulation, it has to remain as a book shop for a year which was not in Michelle's plans but she accepts.  Knowing that Anna is a bookworm, Michelle offers her the opportunity to be manager of the book shop but she cannot help herself by trying to expand her stock into the book shop as well. 

Throughout the book you get to see glimpses of the struggles that both women have to overcome, Anna with establishing a relationship with her step-daughters and Michelle battling the skeletons in her closet that are deeply hidden and preventing her from letting herself be loved.

The blend of characters and storylines within this book make it an enjoyable read and one that is perfect to be read on a cold winter's day.

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