Wednesday 25 January 2017

Guest Review: The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond

It's New Year's Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There's music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It's going to be a night to remember.

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum's house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who's keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma's dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.

But as the following months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home - all the things they've taken for granted - are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

Review: I was really looking forward to reading this book from Lucy Diamond, and indeed really enjoyed it, although it has taken me a while to write this review. I know that she has written a whole host of books, but this is the first one for me. It will definitely not be the last though. 

The story starts on New Year's Eve, at a party in the Suffolk village of Larkmead, hosted by Gemma and her husband, Spencer. It seems that Spencer has invited practically the whole village to the party - lucky that they have a nice large house. Included among the party goers are the other central characters of the story, Caitlin and Saffron. Caitlin is visiting the village following her mother's death to clear out the family home with a view to selling. Saffron, on the other hand, is escaping the madness of London and her PR job for a peaceful cottage holiday in the country to give her time to think about her future. The three women do not know each other, but come together over cocktails and fortune cookies and consider what they each wish for in the year ahead. 

I really took to each of these three women, all from different backgrounds and all with their own diverse problems, but who were brought together from a chance meeting at the party. Lucy Diamond leads us through their trials and tribulations over the year in a very skilful way and cleverly draws them together. They are all very strong, believable characters and extremely brave in their own ways. However, I did feel that the book could have had a few more pages; it all seemed to be wrapped up relatively suddenly. Maybe that was just because I was enjoying it so much that I didn't want it to end.  

I would definitely recommend this heart-warming story as an addition to anyone's to be read list. It does draw you in though, so be prepared  - once started, it is difficult to put down. 

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