Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Forgotten Guide to Happiness with Avon Books - my review is below

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?

What a wonderful and heart-warming story this is!
The Forgotten Guide to Happiness starts with a rejection as Lana's new book, a sequel to her best-selling novel Love Crazy, is too depressing for her agent and she's told to come back with a more upbeat story, if she can find a hero to write about.
A chance meeting with Jack leads to Lana moving in with his stepmother, author Nancy who suffers with dementia and their interactions are what makes the story as moving as it is.  
Nancy is a fabulous and larger than life character, I loved her, she was endearing, lively, intelligent, challenging and she was so interested in people, but that very often got her into trouble!
After years of believing in the importance of honesty, living with Nancy I saw things differently.  The truth wasn't important.  How could it be; it was always subjective.  If Nancy's truth was that there were five cats on the roof, what difference did it make that they were pigeons?  What did I gain from arguing about it?  She saw pigeons and said cats, and I knew what she meant.  Language is just a means of communication, and she could communicate and I could understand her.
I really enjoyed getting to know Nancy, Lana and the quirky classmates as Lana takes up a position as tutor in a romantic prose writing class.
A lovely, touching story of what friendship and love really means and how life can sometimes take you places you least expected to go!

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