Tag Archives: #BarbaraHannay

The Happiest Little Town by Barbara Hannay -a review

The Happiest Little TownThe Happiest Little Town by Barbara Hannay

Happiness has a way of catching up with you, even when you’ve given up trying to find it.

Tilly doesn’t believe she can ever be happy again

Fourteen-year-old Tilly’s world is torn apart when her single mother dies suddenly and she is sent a million miles from everything she has ever known to a small country town and a guardian who’s a total stranger.

Kate is sure she will be happy just as soon as she achieves her dream

In the picturesque mountains of Far North Queensland, Kate is trying to move on from a failed marriage by renovating a van and making plans for an exciting travel escape. The fresh start she so desperately craves is within reach when an unexpected responsibility lands on her doorstep.

Olivia thinks she’s found ‘happy enough’ until an accident changes everything

Ageing former celebrity actress Olivia is used to winning all the best roles in her local theatre group, but when she’s injured while making a grand stage exit, she is relegated to the wings. Now she’s determined that she won’t bow out quietly and be left alone with the demons of her past.

When these lost souls come together under the roof of the Burralea Amateur Theatre group, the countdown to opening night has already begun. Engaging with a diverse cast of colourful characters, the three generations of women find unlikely friendship – and more than one welcome surprise.

From the bestselling author of The Garden of Hopes and Dreams comes a heartwarming and uplifting story about the joys of new beginnings.

Published 2 August 2022  |  Publisher: Penguin Random House  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

Isn’t it just the cutest book cover!? And that title, I feel that I’m guaranteed an easy, light-hearted, and uplifting read which my mood tells me I need these days. It did not disappoint; The Happiest Little Town certainly made me happy.

I find it always touching when 3 generations of women are brought together. I love to see the effect they have on each other. In this novel, the mix of Olivia’s wisdom, Kate’s generosity, and Tilly’s grief made a lovely cocktail of lasting friendship. I am in Kate’s age group so while I was rather frustrated with some of Tilly’s decisions and actions, they are rather understandable considering her loss. I am in awe of Kate’s heart and her generosity… it’s not Tilly’s fault that she is who she is but golly, Kate was just so very kind.

While the story revolves our 3 main protagonists above. There were bits and pieces about other residents of this town that made it The Happiest Little Town. They may not be that relevant to the plot as such but they do make the town more 3-dimensional. And what’s a town without its people?

The Happiest Little Town‘s residents may not be happy aaallll the time as each of them have either had difficult pasts or are still struggling to come to terms with those pasts. However, they do know to pick themselves back up and let’s just say it’s a happy ending all around. Such a comfort read and truly, I just want to give this book a cuddle – that’s how much I enjoyed it.

My thanks to Penguin Random House for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

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Review: The Secret Years

the secret yearsThe Secret Years by Barbara Hannay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of publisher

I find that I’m fascinated by love story in war time… The preciousness of life, of happiness, are just so keenly felt that finding love is such a bittersweet experience. This is what drew me to The Secret Years… asides from my penchant for rural romance, of course 😉

The novel tells of a love story which spans three generations though the middle one is somewhat neglected. It tells of the glorious once-in-a-lifetime love of Harry and Georgina who found each other in the midst of great uncertainty but the fates were quite generous to them as proven by the existence of the next generations.

In the present times, we follow Lucy, Harry and Georgina’s granddaughter, as she returned home from being deployed in Afghanistan. Home, however, didn’t quite turn out the way she dreamed of. Being at loose ends and burdened by a great curiosity of her family’s mysterious past, she goes to England in order to unveil some of her family’s secrets.

Lucy and Georgina are two loveable characters. They are both courageous women; strong, intelligent, grounded, and just so easy to be with. Rosie, on the other hand, was a bit of a mess. Unfortunately, her perspectives is very limited in this novel. I found it a little strange that the “secret” weren’t more fleshed out the novel. The secret was revealed in an almost-dry voice and it was over very quickly. I am comparing it to Kate Morton’s works where the dirty secret hung over you right from the very first word and when it was all revealed, you’d have this stab-in-the-heart sort of pain. There’s no such pain in The Secret Years.

If you adjust your expectation to a good rural romantic novel, I think you will really enjoyed this book. It was so easy to get into and proved to be a delightful relaxation companion. This was my first Barbara Hannay though I just found out that she’s really a prolific writer so can’t you just see my tbr becoming ever more insurmountable?

Thanks to Penguin Australia for paperback copy in exchange of honest review

Pssst, there’s an excerpt that you can check out.

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