If you're looking for a pick-me-up, feel-good, classic chic-lit book then Secrets of Happiness by Lucy Diamond is an absolute must-read.
I picked it up at Gatwick in readiness for my trip to the US last month with the intention of it seeing me though the 10 days I was spending there. Alas! 6 hours into my 8 hour 40 minute flight it was with sadness-because-I'd-finished-it that I read the final paragraph.
This book follows the lives of estranged step-sisters Becca and Rachel. Despite having a cold-hearted attitude towards her younger step-sibling, Rachel is forced to accept help from Becca when she ends up in a hospital miles from home and with absolutely no way of getting in touch with her two young children.
The Secrets of Happiness explores an array of subjects from a parent re-marrying after the death of the other parent, to divorce, the relationship between mothers and their teenage daughters, and a whole myriad of other topics that we find ourselves facing on a day-to-day basis.
Unlike some chic-lit books I've read Secrets of Happiness does not come across as far fetched at all and actually has you believing that you reading about the lives of real people. Don't get me wrong, there are some "poetic licence" moments but there were two that I can think of: one when the sun chose "that moment" to come out from behind the clouds, and the other when a particular something (I won't say what that something is in case in case anyone reads the book) conveniently becomes available so that everything falls nicely into place.
In terms of the characters: Rachel is the one I initially thought I'd identify more with, but as I learned more about her I wasn't quite as keen on her as I thought I would be.
Becca is such a sweetheart, taking knock-back after knock-back from her older sister without really batting an eyelid. Part of me wanted Becca to tell Rachel where to go but part of me wanted her to hang around in case they had a happy ending.
I devoured this book in one sitting, barely stopping to check the 747's progress across the Atlantic.
Was I disappointed when I finished the book? Yes
Would I read it again? Most definitely
Would I recommend it? Yes!
If anyone is in need of a feel good book then you should buy this; you'll love it.
And I loved it so much that I downloaded two more of Lucy Diamond's books to read while I was on holiday.....reviews on those will follow shortly :-)
Love, Kelly x