September 8, 2017

Something Like Happy. Eva Woods

book cover
Published: Harlequin - Graydon House
Date: 5th September 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Little Bird Publicity
4 stars        Add to Goodreads
Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she'd once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn't want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it's that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

My thoughts banner
Something Like Happy could have been a sad, emotional read, and to some extent it is, however it is also enchanting and uplifting. 

Annie has gone through a lot and really is in a dark place, she struggles through each day not really caring.  And to make matters worse Annie's mother doesn't recognise her as she has early onset Alzheimers. Until one day she meets up with the inimitable Polly. Polly who is keen to live one hundred days doing something happy every day. However Polly has a journey to make as well - she has a brain tumour that means she on some level knows her days are short.

Polly is quite madcap, yet it turns out she is the best thing out for Annie. Through her Annie begins to come back to life while it slowly ebbs from Polly. The things they do are mostly simple but the proof is in the changes that come into Annie's life. And for Polly she has a new found friend who stays with her in her bid to live out her last days fully. They make a formidable team.

Much of the story takes place in a hospital and we meet the chocolate loving, Scottish doctor - Dr. Max and another one who seems serious but when you scrape the surface has his own burdens to carry. Polly has a brother George and Annie has a flatmate - Costas, both characters who come to life and are very much part of the story. 

For me this book worked. At one point I wondered if  I would keep going as I have a sister with a brain tumour so it felt a little close to home, however the story is told with the right amount of irreverence, compassion and love that it became a celebration of life and the reminder that each of us have  a limited time in which we can choose to live all the sad and happy moments of life with whole heartedness.
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  1. Loved your review. Thanks Kathryn! Happy Weekend

  2. Where did I just see this one Hmmm. Anyway that person liked it too :)

  3. I have heard good things about this one. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I was thinking I'd probably pass on this one until I read your last paragraph.

  5. This author's other name is Claire McGowan, who writes a crime fiction series set in Northern Ireland that I read, so once I found that out I wanted to read this! Wearing her "suspense hat" she is a wonderful writer, so I have high hopes for enjoying this one.

    I understand that this one might have touched a bit too close to home for you. I can't always deal with melancholy "women's fiction" discussing
    cancer, as it's struck close to home for my SIL, my mother (who passed from it suddenly) and my husband who had two cancer surgeries a few years ago. But if a subject matter is dealt with carefully and respectfully, then that makes a difference.

    Thanks for a great review!

  6. I can see why you would have second thoughts on this one but I think the author did a fantastic job giving levity to difficult situations. I wish your sister all the best, Kathryn.

  7. I can see why you would have 2nd thoughts about this one and also why you kept going. I thought she did a good job on this issue without trivializing or becoming overwrought. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

  8. This must have been a difficult read and review for you. Glad to hear that she did a great job of it. I have this one on my TBR.


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