Gina is starting her life again, after a difficult few years she'd rather forget. But the belongings she's treasured for so long just don't seem to fit who she is now. So Gina makes a resolution. She'll keep just a hundred items - the rest can go. But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring...
©2014 Lucy Dillon (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"Such a brilliant book. So satisfying and clever and deeply moving. I'll be passing it on to all my friends." (Sophie Kinsella)
Review: oh what a gorgeous book. I haven't actually read anything by this author before, despite having a couple of her novels sitting on my shelves but I was recommended this book so many times by other bloggers and other authors that I knew I had to pick it up. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and found myself making excuses to listen at any opportunity it was so compelling and I needed to find out what was going to happen next. It was one of those novels that I really struggled to describe to someone as I was reading it, but I love something like that that doesn't conform to a particular mould or form!
First of all let me rave about Gina because she is such a special character. She has been knocked down again and again and again. She has been in an unhappy marriage, she has a difficult relationship with her mother she is struggling to buck against the stereotype that she has of a survivor and yet that is exactly what she is, a survivor. Someone who makes the very best of herself, by herself, she accepts help from others and yet does things by herself and for herself, she had decided to make herself happy, something which more of us should definitely be trying to do, be happy for ourselves by ourselves!
Her best friend, Naomi is also an amazingly strong female and is a pillar of strength for Gina even if she doesn't realise it. She is written as the kind of best friend that all of us would want to have, just a little bit more outgoing and more straight talking that your average girly girl! Gina's ex is, of course, a character we kind of love to hate, but you also feel sympathy for him and I think Gina did too. Her relationship with her mother develops over the course of the novel and there is a very interesting couple that Gina works with, developing their house and gaining more than just a couple of business clients!
The storyline jumps back and forth between present day and flashbacks to Gina's past but it is so well-written that you never feel confused as to what era you are in. The writing is truly beautiful, full of wonderful descriptive phrases and by the end of the book, i felt as if the house she was developing was actually mine! There's a gorgeous dog for you to fall in love with as well and whilst reading about him, I felt I could actually see him sitting in front of me and see the pain in his eyes-aww!
This is truly a novel to help you appreciate what you have and make you evaluate whether the material possessions in your life are anywhere near as important as the relationships that you have. This book is far from a downer though, it is full of moments of pure joy and will motivate you to seize the day, so to speak. This is a unique book and something which everyone should make space in their reading piles for!
This is the first Lucy Dillon book I have read or listened to and without doubt it is my favourite listen of the year so far. I loved the characters, the story, the narration and could not stop listening. It is an intelligent chick lit book, mostly free of the cliches that so many chick lit authors use. It is beautifully written and ultimately life affirming.
I'm a freelance producer/voice over artist and first time author of a children's novel called 'The Magic Dolphin'. I simply LOVE audio books and also narrate them and produce book trailers.
Yes, I already have, twice now and what amazed me was I wanted to hear it for a second time straight away! It is a wonderful book, my favourite from Audible so far. It is very gentle and calm and is an excellent illustration of how one can cope actually quite well even though one's world has been turned upside down.
I can't compare this to any other book. It's a stand alone piece of work.
The narrator was the perfect choice for this story. She has a lovely deep, warm tone that makes you hang on to her every word. The pace for this story is spot on, not rushed but just gently flowing. Every word is important to Juanita, and she makes everyday objects seem so rich and important.
My overall emotional reaction to this book was one of 'inner peace'. This might sound a bit 'flaky' or 'hippy', but it really did emit a sense of calm and an 'at one with the world' feeling. I couldn't wait to get to bed just so I could turn on my bedside player and melt away!
This book will leave you with a happy, warm glow every time you listen to it.
I found this totally addictive. I loved the way the story unfolded and hooked me in. Definitely a 'page turner' (or the audible equivalent!)
I loved how the rescue greyhound was portrayed, and how it highlighted what fantastic easy go, affectionate companions they make!
The premise of the story, which is essentially about living in the moment and relishing each moment.
Skilled storytelling and a superb narrator.
When the greyhound creeps into her room for the first time.
Learning to let go.
I found the book very engrossing.
This book had a really good premise and I enjoyed the story but I do think it dragged a little towards the end. I also found the main character's clinging to an obsession from a teenage years a little hard to believe in given all she had been through since and that it's easy these days to trace people from your past. However I wouldn't want that to put people off listening to this - there is a lot going on!
I really enjoy Juanita McMahon's narration and would probably download a book based on this - she is very good at voices which helps you imagine the characters.
Embarrassingly yes! I had a good clear out of my wardrobe.
different story, different narrator. Wish I could have back the time I spent listening to this.
Something more interesting and intelligent than this dull book.
The narrator was fine but her voice was wrong for this book. Should've been a much younger sounding woman. McMahon also made the 56 year old mother sound 86.
I chose this book because of the good reviews and it was categorised alongside authors such as JoJo Moyes however it really is not to my taste. But that is the joy of reading and listening. You can't love every book and each listen is a mini adventure whether that be a good one or bad.
livrée à elle-même
A beautiful book, sensitive and insightful, wonderfully well read. Sorry when it ended really! A very credible plot, thoroughly enjoyable.
I enjoy reading but never find the time to pick up a book so Audible has been a great find! Addicted to good detective crime books!
What a lovely listen! Follows the life of Gina going back through her past and the mistakes and tribulations of her life. Definitely a heart warming story that had me chuckling at some points and feeling a bit sorry at others. Does make you stop and think about your own life a little.
I can't help but feel the ending was too soon though - I won't give anything away but if you do decide to listen to this book hopefully you will know what I mean.
Pleased I bought this listen, definitely one of the best 'chick flicks' I have listened to with great narration.
why on earth do wonen continue to write stories that end in found love so we all live happily ever after.
predictsbke, boring, ordibaty.
"Predictable but sweet"
Perhaps I was not the intended reader of this story as it seemed a little trite. If you're into romances, it will have lots for you as it recounts the history of the heroine through three relationships, idealistic first love, ill-chosen marriage and the more mature love after suffering. However, I found the story rather predictable and, perhaps because I'm not greatly materialistic, did not get excited about the "stuff" which brought the heroine memories of when and where she had acquired it. It seemed a little too neat that she was able to resolve the personal difficulties she had with old relationships and with her mother during the course of the story. But overall it was a pleasant and undemanding listen and was well performed by the narrator.
"Oh.. sooo. boring... YAWN!"
I didn't finish this book, even though I tried a dozen times. The narrator is far too old to be depicting a young woman who is going through a divorce. Her voice is gravely like she has smoked 40 fags a day for 40 years.. I just couldn't get into this very boring book!
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