Pieces of happiness. By Anne Otsby.
From the back of the book….
When recently widowed Kat writes to her four oldest friends from their schooldays, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, money worries, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the women’s house, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason. Each of the women has her issues to resolve, and dark secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business to make chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace the possibility of second chances, and a new, exotic culture that views aging so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive; to discover the true value of friendship, and a better way to live?
The author Anne Otsby is a Norwegian journalist and novelist who has lived all over the world, including Fiji, her knowledge of the Fijian way of life really shines through in this book. It was easy to close your eyes for a moment and picture the scene that Anne Otsby set so well.
I was hooked and reeled into this book in the first few pages, the letter written by Kat was just so beautifully worded that I knew right then I would enjoy Anne Otsby’s writing.
I was not wrong!
Each of the main characters, Kat, Ingrid, Maya, Sina, and Lisbeth are written with such depth that getting to know the individual personalities is easy. Each of the women has a back story and I enjoyed reading about how each one came to be who she is now. I came to favour Ingrid, with her secret inner twin, Wildred but I became very fond of each of the women, including Ateca, who works for Kat. I particularly enjoyed Ateca’s prayers, where we saw the ladies from her perspective.
Pieces of happiness is a story of love and friendship, it’s not sickly sweet friendship, it’s real, honest, warts and all friendship, and it’s a reminder that it’s never too late to start over and find happiness.
This book is a piece of happiness in itself. It was an absolute joy to read.
It’s published by Doubleday on 1st June 2017 (hardback £12.99) and I wholeheartedly recommend snapping a copy up when it’s published. I think it’s a perfect summer read, as you’ll be whisked away to Fiji in your mind. Sit back in the sun, (or escape a rainy British summer day) relax, and maybe indulge in a bar of chocolate while you read.
I’m giving Pieces Of Happiness ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ because although I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in a bookstore, my usual favourite genre is young adult – supernatural, I’m exceptionally glad that I did read it. It’s heartwarming, moving and I’ve had a glimpse of life in Fiji, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I was sent a copy of Pieces Of Happiness for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.