Thursday, 21 February 2019

Book Review - Happiness For Beginners by Carole Matthews - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Title: Happiness For Beginners
Author: Carole Matthews
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 21st February 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Molly Baker is living her best life.

Thirty-eight years old, she lives on the twenty-five-acre Hope Farm in Buckinghamshire, surrounded by (mostly) four-legged friends and rolling hills. There's Anthony the anti-social sheep, Tina Turner the alpaca with attitude, and the definitely-not-miniature pig, Teacup.

Molly runs the farm as an alternative school for kids who haven't thrived in mainstream education. It's full on, but she wouldn't have it any other way. So when the well-groomed Shelby Dacre turns up at Hope Farm asking to enrol his son Lucas, Molly isn't fazed.

But Lucas is distant and soon Molly realises he might be more of a handful than she anticipated. And then there's the added problem that his dad is distractingly handsome. Molly has her beloved farm to think of - could letting Lucas and Shelby in be a terrible mistake, or the start of something wonderful?

Feel-good, funny and an absolute must-read from the queen of romance Carole Matthews, Molly's story will make your heart sing. New starts and second chances abound in Happiness for Beginners.

Always a happy day when I am able to read a new book by Carole Matthews, and Happiness for Beginners was a joy to read. 

Mollie introduces us to Hope Farm and what they do there, plus all the animals and their back stories over the first few chapters, in such a chatty style you feel like she is talking directly to you. 

And what fabulous place Hope Farm is, with its assortment of animals all with their own distinct personalities. 

And then there is the school aspect of what they do there, as its not a farm in the traditional sense, rather a place where troubled teens who have most likely been excluded from schools, can learn practical skills and become more independent and more from helping to take care of the animals. 

And this really is a delight for all animal lovers, I'm not sure I could pick a favourite, but Fifty the sheep that thinks its anything else, the Shetland pony that is allergic to its own hair and Teacup the pig that is rather larger than its name all have soft spots for me. 

The story focuses on one pupil and his recently widowed father, and Lucas couldn't help but get under my skin. Such a lovely boy, just misunderstood. 

In some respects this feels quite different from Carole Matthews' other books, possibly due to the setting, but equally it has everything you would expect to see from her too, all mixed into one amazing book. 

Thank you to Sphere and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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