Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy People Read and Drink Coffee (Agnes Martin Lugand)

was very excited to received an advance reading copy of this book from Harper Collins through The Reading Society at The National Post.

Now that I have read it, I am less enamoured. At least I didn't pay for this book!

Don't be fooled by the title. This isn't about reading. It isn't about drinking coffee. It isn't about happy people. There is a bookstore called Happy People that the main character leaves and comes back to...but that is about it. It kind of reminded me of a bad mix of Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Labor Day by Joyce Menard....but with terrible writing. The idea of escaping to somewhere beautiful to find oneself is lovely....but she came off as stupidly hooking up with a jerk, like in Labor Day. 

The first chapter was great. I gasped at the narrative about easy going fun banter between a husband and wife and their child suddenly ending with death:

"They left, laughing and feeling around as they went downstairs.

"I found out they were still fooling around in the car when the truck crashed into them. I told myself they were still laughing when they died. I told myself that I should've been with them."

It is all downhill from there. The story is flat and poorly developed and terribly predictable. I kept saying, "Are you kidding me?!" with chapter. 

Run away. Move into a place next to this inexplicably seriously grumpy and rude neighbor. He does one nice deed and the next thing you know (like....that day) he invites her to join him on his business trip and she strangely, accepts. Of course, they call in love. In walks in the old girlfriend with catty skills straight out of high school. Of course, he chooses the nicer girl after seeing through the manipulation a of the old girlfriend.....only to have her get a hold of herself and return to her bookstore and clean the place up.

Phew....that was a waste of a Friday night.

Glad it was a quick read.

Goodreads summary:

She fled Paris to lose herself. The love she found would change everything.

Diane seems to have the perfect life. She is a wife, a mother, and the owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a cozy literary cafe in Paris. But when she suddenly loses her husband and daughter in a car accident, her life is overturned and the world as she knows it instantly disappears. Trapped and haunted by her memories, Diane closes her shop and retreats from her friends and family, unable and unwilling to move forward.

But one year later, Diane shocks her loved ones and makes the surprising decision to move to a small town on the Irish coast, finally determined to heal by rebuilding her life alone-until she meets Edward, a handsome and moody Irish photographer who lives next door. At first abrasive and unwelcoming, Edward initially resents Diane’s intrusion into his life of solitude . . . until he can no longer keep her at arm’s length. Along windy shores and cobbled streets, Diane falls into a surprising and tumultuous romance. As she works to overcome her painful memories and truly heal, Diane and Edward’s once-in-a-lifetime connection inspires her to love herself and the world around her with newfound inner strength and happiness. But will it last when Diane leaves Ireland, and Edward, for good?

At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Diane’s story is deeply felt, reminding us that love remembered is love enduring.

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