I’m delighted to join the blog tour for The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the invitation to join and the review copy!
Author : Sophie Jenkins
Title : The Forgotten Guide to Happiness
Pages : 320
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : May 28, 2018
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?
Once again, I find myself reviewing a book I wouldn’t normally pick up. But I was swayed by the pretty cover and the book description and I’m chuffed to bits I decided to give this one a go.
Lana Green is an author who has written a romantic novel based on her own relationship with Mark. Unfortunately, writing the sequel turned into a bit of a nightmare when her soulmate abandoned her and her publisher rejects her manuscript. Lana needs a hero, a muse, and quickly before she runs out of money. As such, she is always looking for inspiration and setting the scene, so to speak, and it was fun following her thought processes and imagination.
Then Lana meets Jack, whose stepmother used to be a writer. Now eighty years old, Nancy Ellis Hall sadly suffers from dementia. When Lana moves in with her to keep her safe, an unexpected friendship develops that might just help Lana find happiness again. And a new novel.
Having a grandmother with dementia herself, I often found myself with a lump in my throat. However, this novel isn’t overwhelmingly sad. It is actually quite witty, most definitely uplifting and even more so, incredibly heartwarming. The author managed to tackle a serious illness like dementia in a light-hearted way that just felt right. Yes, there are tears but there is also laughter, as there is in real life, and ultimately it left me with a big smile on my face.
Sure, there were a few predicable moments but who cares? I most certainly didn’t because this wonderful novel is filled with the most fantastic, colourful and slightly quirky characters that each warmed my heart in their own very special ways and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with them. Not just Lana and Nancy, but the secondary characters as well. Each and every one of them stands out in a way that adds that little something extra to the story.
The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is a truly delightful story about love, friendship and figuring out what matters the most. It wraps itself around you like a warm, comforting blanket and it made me chuckle, a little emotional at times but in the end, pretty happy.
The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is now available to buy in ebook format!
Sophie Jenkins is a serial joiner of writing groups and workshops and a prolific short story writer. To encourage her creativity she regularly enters half-marathons and trains by running from her home in North London to breakfast in the centre of town with a notepad.
The character of Nancy in The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is based on her experiences with her own mother, who was diagnosed with dementia fifteen years ago.