It is finally my turn to host Jessica Redland and her novel, ‘The Secret to Happiness’ on my blog, as I take part in the blog tour today. Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part and for the ARC. Here is my review:
Everyone deserves a chance at happiness…
Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…
Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.
Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …
When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…
What does TWG think?
When I first saw the cover of ‘The Secret to Happiness’, I thought that the storyline was going to follow the usual trends that are found popular fiction at the moment. But it didn’t, not really. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course, it’s just nice to read a book which steers its characters in an unexpected direction.
And unexpected this was. I never expected to read the last chapter through tear filled eyes, nor did I expect to have teare cascading down my face at the very end.
Danniella is broken, yet she refuses to open up to anyone as she is scared not only of their reaction, but hers. She would do anything to get the confidence to make friends and trust someone to be her confidant; if only she could get over the hurdle that was holding her back.
Next up is Alison and, just like Danniella, she struggles with her confidence. It probably doesn’t help that her relationship isn’t doing much to help her insecurities. How can you tell someone who has been with their partner for many, many years, that they deserve someone who isn’t a doorknob? Will they believe you? Probably not!
The last main character who is featured in the book is fitness fanatic, Karen. On the outside, her life is one which could cause copious amounts of envy, yet the picture on the inside tells a completely different story.
As I said at the beginning, I really wasn’t expecting what this storyline delivered. A lot of books I have read, have had characters with secrets about being in love with someone else etcetera, but ‘The Secret to Happiness’ reveals secrets on a much deeper scale. Each of the characters journeys revealed heartbreaking situations, emotional challenges, and such life changing and poignant discoveries; a couple of which I was able to relate to personally.
If I could have bottled up the feelings that Jessica Redland’s beautiful story telling gave me, I would have had the entire world in my hands. I cannot even begin to explain just how this book made me feel. I was genuinely bowled over by the sensitivity of the author as she put several devastating situations under the spotlight – something which can only be done by an incredible talent like Jessica Redland.
Despite the intense emotion I felt whilst reading the book, I also found myself in hysterics at some of the characters antics, especially when all three ladies got together. I would have done anything, and would do anything, to have such genuine and incredible friendships just like the ones described in this book. That said, i was so pleased to see that each of the ladies finally had someone that they could turn to. I mean, it may be a small thing to some, but having another person ask if you’re okay or if you want to talk about anything, is an act which can make that person’s day. It may even be the starting block in rebuilding somebody’s confidence. You just never know.
Nevermind trying to work out what the secret to happiness is; it is literally right in front of you and it goes by the name of ‘The Secret to Happiness’ by Jessica Redland – the most genuinely beautiful, emotive, and phenomenal books I have ever, EVER read.