The Best Days of Our Lives: the big-hearted and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of Anything Could Happen

£8.495
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The Best Days of Our Lives: the big-hearted and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of Anything Could Happen

The Best Days of Our Lives: the big-hearted and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of Anything Could Happen

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Price: £8.495
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I loved that the supporting characters (Jackie, Ray, Jacob etc) really complemented the story, and I liked that characters such as Jackie and Ray were actually nice and weren’t made out to have that evil step parent vibe! What follows are chapters from each family’s members viewpoint, her sister Alice, her brother Will, her mother Belinda and her father Tony. Unfortunately, just a few weeks after this less than successful get together, Leni sadly dies in a tragic bike accident, and the story follows Belinda, Alice, Will and Tony as they navigate their way through their grief and their own personal feelings towards the part that they feel they played in Leni’s life and death. Everything is dialled up to such an extreme that it doesn’t always feel in keeping with the characters.

Leni McKenzie's family - her divorced parents Belinda and Tony, both with new partners, her sister Alice and brother Will - are still reeling from her unexpected death, all turning to different ways of coping - or not coping. I really liked the flashbacks to Leno on the memorial page, the stories showed how Leni touched so many lives, selflessly at times. A brief introduction has the reader meeting Leni as she is about to celebrate her 35th birthday with her family.

The McKenzies are your average complicated family: knotted together by in-jokes, arguments and a few closely-guarded secrets. Tony is sweet and a bit gormless and slowly bit by bit as he starts to wake up and understand that he needs to change he comes to a realisation that the family that he left behind when his marriage broke down, that maybe it’s not too late to make amends with them. The story is punctuated with various people's reminiscences of her from a tribute page set up by her sister, and these were fun to read. This was the catalyst for Alice starting some self-healing but really can we ever truly reach that end point in relation to this especially when all we want is that person back in our lives?

Leni’s death forces Alice to rebuild things in her own life and I loved the metaphor of the butterfly showing her struggle and the symbolism of the peacock feathers throughout the book. Seeing the McKenzies finding their way in this new reality, experiencing happiness again and creating ways to honor the Leni they loved and miss so much in their lives - I think I’m going to water my eyes all over again for each and every one of them. Everyone is keeping secrets and the thing about secrets is that they will all be revealed in the end.Diamond’s analogies of the butterfly having to fight it’s way out if it’s chrysalis and the way a river will learn to flow around a pebble we’re absolutely beautiful ways to explore how we might move forward after tragedy. Indeed, neither of them had once given a thought to what they would do without the other, and particularly if that special sibling bond were snatched away in the midst of a time of simmering vex and underlying jealousy. Fast forward five and a half months later and Leni’s family are deep in the grieving process although they are trying to hide their true feelings from each other particularly her brother Will. The big-hearted, hopeful new novel from the bestselling author of The Beach Cafe and Anything Could Happen - perfect for summer reads.

Belinda, Leni’s mum, develops an unhealthy, yet comforting relationship with a clairvoyant, while Tony, Leni’s dad, is getting ready to become a father for the fourth time all over again after three failed marriages. Emotional, gentle and, in spite of its serious subject matter, uplifting ― Irish Independent --This text refers to the hardcover edition. This is extremely difficult as Leni was taken from them so prematurely when she had an accident whilst on her bike. Despite this, it is an uplifting read and there are many important life lessons to be learnt from it.

The story, on the whole, was very character driven and the author did a good job with describing them, yet I still think that Leni was really the weakest link and I'm guessing it shouldn't be like this, I was supposed to like her and because I didn't, well, the whole story was already from the beginning spoiled for me.

It starts with them all in quite a dark place and I did struggle with that initially but ultimately this is a touching and satisfying read. I’ve used a pen name because ‘Diamond’ is a lot easier to spell and pronounce than ‘Mongredien’ and also because I’ve written lots of children’s books too and wanted to keep the genres separate. The only one who annoyed me was Alice, as what Leni was up to in her last days consumed her to the point of obsession and took over her whole life.Alice tries to piece together her sister’s last weeks, while Will, the youngest sibling, hops on a plane right after the funeral, not ready to deal with their loss.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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