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The Secret of Happy Ever After Paperback – 10 Nov 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (10 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444727036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444727036
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Fans of Katie Fforde will devour this latest novel ... Nostalgic, heart-warming and honest, this is a tale of love and friendship at its very best. (Press Association)

A modern fairy-tale for grown ups. (Sun)

A heart-warming piece of escapism for long winter nights. (Red)

Book Description

A captivating story of love, friendship and a bookclub that you'll never forget - from the bestselling author of LOST DOGS AND LONELY HEARTS and WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It was a real treat reading this book, and revisiting Longhampton (and spotting some of the characters we've met before). I read it while off work sick and it was great place to escape to - comforting and enticing but not too escapist and fluffy, and much better than daytime telly. I love the other Longhampton books and the way they tackle some tricky issues, not just the usual romance - but I have to say this one has got even more depth and honesty and complexity. It covers ageing, step families, the whole 'does motherhood really make you a superior/worse person' debate. NONE of the relationships are pat or straight forward, the heroines are both sympathetically flawed, the kids are fantastically believable. I cried at least three times, which is rare for me, but the situations were so poignant at times - it's the little defeats or successes in life which affect us most, more than the great tragedies or triumphs, and Lucy Dillon gets these across perfectly. I am not part of a step family, so I can't judge, but I think the depiction of the endless difficulties (big and small) of a step family are really thoughtfully and believably put across. I found my heart going out to the stepmother and her constant attempts to connect with the kids and make things right, while the actual parents were oblivious to her efforts and how much more difficult their unthinking actions make things for her. It is heart warming in showing women in the full diversity of who they are - not just young heroines who somehow afford funky flats in London and have a useful array of zany friends for plot purposes. But women who run businesses, run families, make tough choices, care for others, stand at the centre of their communities in one way or another.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Another fabulous book from Lucy Dillon - on a deeper level than chic lit but at the same time so easy to read. I have read 3 books over Christmas (the others not by Dillon) and this is easily the best. The friendship aspect between Michelle and Anna is explored beautifully, both the ups and the downs. Also the difficulties of being part of an extended family are looked at in a probing but sensitive manner. I loved the bookshop, if it existed in real life I am sure I would never want to leave in the same way I was sad to finish reading this book. A book about fiction, friendship, families, setting up small businesses, love and communities - this has it all.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I loved Lucy Dillon's other two books set in the fictional town of Longhampton, so couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. I started it the day I bought it and I loved it so much that I read it all in one night! I am pleased to say it is the best in the 'series' so far. I was worried that the mix of chick lit and dogs might get a bit boring by the third book but this feels completely fresh and original, whilst still managing to retain that Lucy Dillon magic.

If you've never read a Lucy Dillon book, you are in for a treat. Her novels are essentially chick lit, but they are a sublime example of the genre. They are easy to read, but the story lines are always completely absorbing and have a good amount of depth to them. Plus, Lucy Dillon writes dogs into her novels so brilliantly that the dogs feel like one of the main characters too.

You don't need to have read Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts or Walking Back To Happiness to enjoy this book. Although I called it a 'series' earlier, the only link between the books is that they are all set in the same fictional village and they all feature dogs prominently. Each book has a new set of main characters (both human and canine). There are occasional mentions of characters from the previous novels in this one, but not to the extent that you need to read the others first. However, I suggest you do anyway.
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Format: Paperback
Lucy Dillon has a lovely, soothing writing style, which lends itself to great story-telling. Once again this book takes us to Longhampton, a town which Lucy Dillon has used as her setting in some of her previous novels. The familiarity of the setting really helped me to settle into the story and also it was nice that some of Lucy's past characters were mentioned as it was nice to know they weren't forgotten.

The Secret of Happy Ever After tells the story of two friends; Anna and Michelle. I thought that Anna was instantly a likeable and identifiable character, however, Michelle was flawed and less likeable to begin with. Thankfully, as time moved on and secrets revealed I found she became more likeable as more was revealed and explained about her.

This book is mainly about relationships and how important they are in life, and I thought Lucy Dillon put this across perfectly. Overall, this is a good read and one that fans of Lucy Dillon's previous novels will love.
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