Happiness for Beginners by Carole Matthews

If I’m honest I am quite behind in reading/reviewing my NetGalley books. I received a free copy of Happiness for Beginners by Carole Mattthews to review. I received it in time to review it around the time the hardback was published a few months ago. The paperback was published a couple of weeks ago and I’m only just reviewing it now (but we’ll pretend that was deliberate!)

Here is the synopsis:

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?

An absolute must-read from the queen of romance Carole Matthews, Molly’s story will make your heart sing.

Molly is the same age as me (almost, I will be 38 in about 6 months) and it felt unusual in a good way to read about a character my own age. So many of the women I read about seem to be either 20 somethings finding themselves or 50 somethings reinventing themselves often after their husband has done a runner. So top marks for that. I actually think Molly’s age is something that makes the plot better – she’s been around the block, she’s settled and happy but throughout the book begins to realise that her version of happy isn’t what everyone else’s is and look for more.

I’m not a particular fan of animals but the ones in Happiness for Beginners made me overlook that dislike. They really added to the story and I loved the personalities they each had and the fun they brought to proceedings.

Happiness for Beginners is full of moments that will make you smile, make you feel for the characters and make you laugh. It’s really realistic and just a lovely read that leaves you feeling good. It’s a while since I’ve read a Carole Matthews book. After reading Happiness for Beginners I’m wondering why that is, because like all of her books it was brilliant. I will definitely be making the time to read more of them!

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