Happiness for Beginners
I've been a huge Carole Matthew's fan for many years now since reading It's a Kind of Magic. I think it's safe to say that I have read nearly all of them now!
Every year I wait with anticipation for her new one to come out and this year was no exception. I was going to wait for the paperback version of this to come out before buying it, but my very dear friend and fellow reviewer, Julie Williams, very kindly gifted me a copy of the hardback that she won in a competition! Thank you Julie, you are a true friend and I don't know what I would have done without you, especially over the past few months.
You can find my review below along with some photos of when my daughter and I went alpaca walking at Easter this year. They truly are wonderful creatures and have their own personality (as you will find out if you read this book!). Thanks to the lovely people at Unicorn Alpaca Walks, Suffolk for a fantastic tour!
Molly lives on Hope Farm with only her dilapidated caravan and lots of dysfunctional animals. She inherited the farm from her Aunt Hettie and along with Bev and Allen, she helps children with different kinds of behavioural, learning and mental health problems. They go along to the farm and help with the feeding and upkeep of the animals as well as learning at the same time.
This sounds like an idyllic lifestyle, but Molly doesn't have a proper shower, always smells of animals and although she won't admit it, she is lonely.
When Shelby Dacre brings his son Lucas along to the farm Molly has no idea who Shelby is, but Bev knows he is an actor in a very popular farm soap, but as Molly has no tv, she is none the wiser! She only knows that he is drop dead gorgeous!
Shelby's son Lucas is a typical teenager, but Molly takes an instant shine to him and he to her and together they rub along quite nicely. Lucas even opens up to Molly that he likes to write and perform poetry, something he wouldn't dream of sharing with his father, who is finding it hard bringing up a teenager on his own. Lucas is grieving after losing his Mum to cancer and growing further and further apart from his Dad isn't helping.
Molly tries her best to bring Shelby and Lucas closer together, but has other things on her mind when a letter arrives saying that the farm is being sold off to make way for a high speed train line.
Could all Molly and Bev's hard work trying to make the farm a success really be in jeopardy?
I have been in a real reading slump over the past 6 months, but this book really got me back into the swing of things. It's a great read with some very witty stories (especially about the naughty alpacas!). It is also the first time that I have had a weep at a Carole Matthew's book as Lucas wrote a poem about losing his Mum to cancer and sadly, I lost my Mum too in February to this awful disease .
Thank you Carole for another great read. I have always loved the short chapters and on several occasions, I read "one more chapter" and before you know it, you have read nearly half the book!
I'm ready for the next one now...