The latest novel from Carole Matthews is full of so much joy, hope and happiness that the book could almost be a self-help one!
Molly lives on Hope Farm, inherited from her Aunt when she died. Molly has no one in her life, a disruptive childhood meant she spent a lot of time at Hope Farm and was at her best when it was just her, the animals and nature.
There is something special about this farm – it gives hope and inevitably happiness. All of the animals need that bit extra attention. Whether it be a skittish alpaca, a one-legged chicken, or a sheep with a chip on its shoulder. They are all animals who would have been written off and forgotten.
The same could be said for the children that also come to Hope Farm, because Molly has turned this place into a last chance saloon for children who have exhausted all traditional forms of educating and in some ways the system has failed them. Interacting with the animals seems to bring them a whole different perspective with some school work thrown in for good measure.
That is until Lucas turns up at Molly’s door. Neglected by his father, the well-known television actor Shelby Dacre. Lucas is a handful and one of the most reluctant of students, but when you stand in the shadow of a very handsome father perhaps Lucas behaviour is the only way to get his father’s attention.
Molly is struck by Lucas more than any of the other children and finds a place in her heart for him. He thrives on the farm but when that is threatened it looks like Molly and all her waifs and strays are going to have to go their separate ways.
This is such a joyous book from beginning to end. The author throws you straight into life on the farm, to the problems of the children and the basic life that Molly leads. I wanted to dive into the pages and be part of the farm, to help those kids find some sort of purpose in life and to enjoy being in nature and living perhaps a less gilded life than that of Shelby Dacre.
I loved it and would recommend it for anyone who needs to have a bit of sunshine and happiness in their life!
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Happiness for Beginners is published on 21 February 2019.