The Happiness List by Annie Lyons

thehappinesslist

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Life is about to change forever…

Heather is finally back on Hope Street after running from the memories for so long. She hasn’t bumped into many neighbours yet but with her upcoming wedding to plan there’s plenty to keep her busy!

Fran is still trying to get used to a life without her husband by her side. It’s hard enough raising two children on her own – she doesn’t have time to even think about dating…

Pamela is fed up with being taken for granted by her grown-up children and grumbling husband. She’s ready to shake things up a little, but will her family even notice?

So when the three women hear about a ‘happiness course’ starting on Hope Street, surely it’s the perfect opportunity to let their hair down, laugh with new friends and maybe even change their lives in ways they never expected…

Don’t miss The Happiness List, a delightfully uplifting story from bestselling author Annie Lyons, coming soon!

The Review: You might remember (or maybe not) that I was particular gushy over these two books Life or something Like it  or this book’s predecessor  The Choir On Hope Street 

and so when I heard about this I hit preorder straight away (I know I act like I’m not clicking a button but more punching something equivalent to the big red button on ‘The Voice,’ but that’s how I feel when I’m buying books. More like ‘yes! That’s the one!’)

And boy was it. This is the book of three different people all out looking for a way to be happy, whether known or unknown to themselves. I was thrilled to distinguish between all three straight away, they all had isms that made me remember who they were, their ages etc. It’s very unusual to have a book where all three characters are so different and yet you want to read every single one of them and don’t find your eyes reaching to find a specific one, but that was what I had here and this, put with their exceptional friendship, was excellent.

The happiness course itself, with it’s range of things to do and fabulous array of characters, was something I’d thing about doing myself should one ever come to Ireland. In particular when they got to comedy week I nearly swooned, as one of my own ways to get back to happy is to sit down to watch stand up on Comedy Central and just laugh myself silly. And of course, as you would guess, not only was there laughter, there was tears. I bawled my eyes out in this book. In particular of course, Fran, who was just going through the motions of life without her husband, really got to me and my skin prickled with the realisation that not only had she not let him go (fair enough), she was also having little chats with him to keep him there. I have to add that the tears wasn’t just book related, it’s been a tough few weeks/months (2018 for me will be a year of almighty, humongous  highs and scary lows), but this book (and another which I’ll review in a few days) was cathartic for me.

I have to finish by saying I once put at the end of a review that if Cressida McLoughlin did a writing course I would be there, front row. It turns out Annie Lyons DOES do creative writing courses, and I nearly fell over when I read this and it compounds my belief that, writing wise, I belong in the UK more than Ireland (disclaimer: I adore Ireland, will always live here, and am sure I’ve just committed all kinds of treason, it’s just Ireland and rom coms/ chick lit do not go together, and most writing here is all kinds of literary or just plain flowery, and just not me). Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes! One of my favourite books this year. Oh and special mention for Georg by the by!

Rating: 5/5

Cover Reveal! The Choir on Hope Street by Annie Lyons

I’m thrilled today to be bringing you the sparkly new cover for The Choir on Hope Street by Annie Lyons, which I really enjoyed! Plus at the moment it’s only £1.01 on Amazon! And so to the lovely new cover!

thechoiron

Length: 337 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

What they say:

It’s time to face the music

Natalie’s husband has just dropped a bombshell she never expected. Six little words no women ever wants to hear – ‘I don’t love you anymore’ – and her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Caroline’s difficult mother has been kicked out of her nursing home! And with no one else able to take her in, she’s going to have to put the past behind her and invite her to stay.

Nat and Caroline might live just a few doors away from each other but the two neighbours couldn’t be more different! Yet when the beloved Hope Street community hall is threatened with closure, only the community choir can save the day – if they can just find the perfect song in time…

A gorgeously uplifting romantic comedy to make your heart sing! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Kat French.

Review (posted first on April 3rd (read here instead if you want!) but reposted to make it a bit easier on you to find it again!):  I think one of the best parts of being a book blogger is when you review a book from an author that you know you enjoy (as you can see from my review of the brilliant Life or Something Like it which you can find here ), so to be part of the blog tour for said author is something very special indeed.

The book began simply but with a bang.

“‘I don’t love you any more.’ That was it. Six words delivered so simply, as if he were reading the news.”

From these few lines on I felt for Natalie Garfield, who had just been delivered the life shattering lines. Natalie isn’t quite sure where it all went wrong, they were the solid couple, the couple that would never be in trouble and yet here she is. Natalie was one heck of a character. A children’s book writer (yay!), she was understandably a bit of a mess, trying to muddle through for the sake of her child Woody (who was just so so gorgeous). What was so excellant was that even as she muddled through, even as she was down and falling apart, we could still see her character shine through, you could still see how much fun she was, how thoughtful and how out there she was and this made me want to read her story. There was another story going on at the same time, and what a tribute to Ms Lyons that I wanted to hear this one as much as that of the amazing Natalie.

Caroline, said other voice in the book, was right before my eyes from the second I began to read her- an always smiling, always in control, never a hair out of place, need to look good for the husband to keep the marriage alive type of mother who was just perfection.

“I don’t mean to sound judgemental but I despair of playground mothers sometimes. Where is their self respect? We’re all pushed for time in the mornings – the least we can do is apply a little eyeliner and make ourselves presentable. We’re supposed to be role models for the next generation, after all.”

I adored her too and couldn’t wait to see how the two characters would work/ clash with each other when they both decided to work towards keeping open the community centre on Hope Street by setting up a choir and competing to gain some coverage of the centre’s plight, aided by Natalie’s noteriety as a writer and Caroline’s can-do, must-do attitude.

When I tell you that the two characters were both amazing in their own way, the journey they go through together is something special as they try to understand each other (including parenting styles), getting Caroline to face up to some very harsh realities, including her relationship with her mother which was both shocking and so so moving (yes, I did cry). Natalie and Caroline were a very special coupling, and it’s difficult to stop talking about them, but I have to, to remind you that this is a book about the setting up of a choir, with, again, brilliantly written, genius personalities, and magnificent descriptions of locations, buildings, songs and harmonies. I’ll be honest, I could gush about this book all day,  a fun, funny, beautiful, gripping, fantastic story that just cements Annie Lyons in my authors to remember list (yes, I do have one of these!) and tells me I have to get back to her excellent backlog (see them here). A must read. Thanks so much to Harpercollins and Ms. Lyons for this lovely book in return for an honest review.

About the author

annielyons

Do you know sometimes you can’t beat the words from the author themself? Read a detailed, absolutely lovely description of Ms Lyons’ Works and brilliant achievements here

Her books (again lifted from her lovely website!)

Amazon Author Page

Hope you enjoyed that, plus it reminded me to go back and read the review for Life Or Something Like It (read it here), which I adored, and in the meantime I also bought Not Quite Perfect here !)