Jenni Keer comes to the blog today with her debut offering, and a title that is the epitome of chick lit. Please read on for my review of
The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker
Lucy is a mid-twenties woman who is unfailingly kind, perhaps even to being a bit easy to take advantage of, but content with her knitting, her historic romance addiction and her best friend and neighbor Brenda. Finding much of her life that she was ‘chastised’ or ignored by her mother for not standing up for herself or practicing the keeping up with the Joneses hopscotch, she’s a calming and steady influence on the other employees of the toy company she works for, and is able to mollify even the most difficult customers. Lucy is that sort of person who constantly doubts her own skills and abilities, but you’d always think of her first when you needed an ear, sympathy, friendship or even some quiet company.
But a multi-hour wait at home after being blocked in by a moving truck unloading the furnishings to her neighbor’s new house, a neighbor who, while uber gorgeous has all of the social skills of a slime-encrusted rock. George isn’t really a ‘people’ person, he’s brusque and to the point, and wholly unable to see (or stop) himself putting his feet in the muck. There’s no real animosity in him, he’s just been hurt and is more than unusually hesitant to ‘trust’ in people, and well, his work obsession doesn’t help. But with Brenda being just who she is, and dancing between truly magical and a good-natured meddler, it’s hard for George to stay ‘impartial’, particularly when Lucy, as concerned as she is with Brenda’s failing health ropes him into help.
So many wonderful moments in this story, from Lucy’s reframing her relationship with her older sister, to the real friendship separated by a house and 50 years with Brenda, her increasing confidence at work and her knitting projects from Thor to Poldark: adding a locket with ever-changing spell tasks to the mix only served to bring a bit of humanity to George and face him up with the unexpected, while the ‘tale’ of the locket helped Lucy to tap her previously untouched confidence. Keer managed to make every person in this book feel real and plausible, and reinforce the need for kind in the world you occupy, even bringing the ever-sexist and wholly inappropriate men in the toys office around to share a bit of their own insecurities and strengths. This is a perfect example of a story that allows readers an escape, with heart, laughs, tears and a solid determination to be more ‘like Lucy’ and go for kindness first.
Title: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker
Author: Jenni Keer
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Friendship, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon Books UK
Published on: 10 January, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours, and unlikely friends.
Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.
79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.
Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…
The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.