Cassie feeds some fox cubs behind her flats in London, though the adults tell her not to. One night, she follows her favourite fox, and finds herself at the Frost Fair on the Thames, in the 17th century. Its a sweet, very simple tale about kindness and a little magic.
Set in London, Saving Missy is about an elderly lady whose world has shrunk until she finds little pleasure in it. A series of encounters see her adopt a dog, which opens her up to community, and reflection on her life. It’s an uplifting story about kindness, acceptance, the uncomplicated love of dogs, and the power of community. For fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and A Man Called Ove, Saving Missy doesn’t feel derivative, but is another hopeful, enjoyable read.
Florence Saint Claire is a former child star from a famous, musical family. These days, she works for a horticultural group based in a library (?!), alongside Albert Flowers, who seems to have his social life sorted, unlike Florence. It’s about overcoming fears, fitting in, connecting, and kindness. A sweet, gentle, quirky read, for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Nina Stibbe’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, are a lot of fun. Paradise Lodge is an old people’s home in an English village in the 1970s. Fifteen year old Lizzie Vogel starts to work there as she avoids school, and wants cash to buy nicer coffee and shampoo. It’s a wonderfully life-affirming story, full of lovable, eccentric characters, coming of age revelations, and deep connection and community.
Thomas Major is a grumpy, forty something year old man who volunteers for a one way trip to Mars. His life has been unhappy and confusing, and he is keen to turn his back on earth and its people. By strange co-incidence, he is in contact with a family who will challenge his views of the world, and himself. Full of quirky characters, crazy antics, high drama, and heart-warming triumphs, this is a fun and uplifting read. For fans of A Man Called Ove.
For a quirkily funny read about human nature, you must read “Lawyer for the Dog” by Lee Robinson.
Set in the wealthy area of South Carolina, this highly improbable, yet highly plausible novel is a must for those who wish to escape into the realms of fiction.
Attorney Sally Baynard is the protagonist and of course she finds love. But with whom?
And, as she is a lawyer, you can imagine there are problems with divisions of assets. Will the pet dog, a miniature schnauzer called Sherman (yes, as in the tank!) be torn in half?
This is a thoroughly good light hearted read, and is a must for those who always like to see the good in others.
I once grew my hair to look like Audrey Tautou in Amélie. I realised that the comparisons were not in my favour. Comparing new books to Harry Potter is a similarly risky move, but in this case, I think it works. As I read Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow, I was strongly reminded of Harry Potter many times, but in a good way. The story of cursed child, Morrigan’s, rescue from death, and removal to Nevermoor where she competes to join the Wundrous Society is full of delightful characters, twists and turns, joy, fear, sadness, laughs and a lot of fun. It’s great for younger readers, and, like all good books for young people, for those of any age who love a heartwarming, sweet, and funny tale of wonder.
A stranger arrives in Banjo Crossing and soon becomes part of the community, but of course he is hiding from something. It did not take me long to fall in love with the characters of Banjo Crossing and their lives. The story is a heartwarming look at country life, community spirit and love.
I really love this book! In order to tell his story, Cal Stephanides needs to go back and start with his grandparents. What follows is the epic story of a Greek family, beginning with an escape from burning Smyrna to their settling in Detroit. It is full of real history thrillingly entwined with the imagined; the Nation of Islam, the riots in Detroit (David Bowie song!) and an experience of being intersex. It is heartwarming, funny, over the top and very real at the same time.
It turns out that I can enjoy a book like this, if it is set in a book shop, in the Cotswolds. Emilia’s father has died, leaving her a book shop that isn’t doing very well. As she decides whether to keep it going or not, a cast of her customers also find themselves at crossroads. It’s heartwarming, comfortably predictable and sweet, without being cloying. I couldn’t read only this sort of book, but it was an entertaining interlude.