The Secret of Happy Ever After

The secret of happiness, in my mind, is a good book, a hot bath to soak in to read it and some P & Q to get as many pages under one’s belt with no interruptions! Actually, reading makes me happy with or without a hot bath. I love my books and just being surrounded by them. Imagine if you owned or ran a book shop? My customers would have to cough loudly to get my attention as my nose would be stuck in the stock! Anna, one of two main characters in Lucy Dillon’s ‘The Secret of Happy Ever After’ has her dream come true as she takes over running a second-hand bookshop in the village where she lives.

Blurb Quote: ‘As she unpacks boxes of childhood classics, Anna can’t shake the feeling that maybe her own fairytale ending isn’t all that she’d hoped for. But as the stories of love, adventure, secret gardens and giant peaches breathe new life into the neglected shop, Anna and her customers get swept up in the magic too.’

As mentioned in an earlier post, I tend to only read a couple of Chick Lit books a year and am pretty selective about which ones I read.  When one comes along that is set in a book shop (added bonus being that said bookshop is also in a small village – I love ‘small-town’ and villagey stories too) and has a dalmatian to boot, then I’m in!  This one certainly didn’t disappoint as there’s enough in it to keep those pages turning.  The book plays host to family dramas (stepchildren and a not-so-evil stepmother, even though the children don’t always see her as the kind soul she is), dogs (one crazy and lopey and another old and senile but all the more loveable), a lovely musty second-hand book shop that I could practically smell and imagine, a lovely neighbouring home-wares shop that I wish I could visit online to place an order as well as the usual and expected sprinkling of romance, misunderstandings, Christmas and babies!

One of the best touches in this book, in my opinion, was the book quotes that opened each chapter.  To me, it highlighted the authors own love of books as well as tying it nicely and cleverly with the main theme of the book.  It also opened my eyes to a couple of books that I must have missed as a child like ‘The Children of Green Knowe’ and’ The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler‘.  Added to my ‘Books to hunt down on eBay’ list!  I also want to revisit ‘The Railway Children’ and the Mrs. Pepperpot books.  Thank you, Ms Dillon!

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