LUCY DILLON

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A Hundred Pieces of Me (2014)

Gina Bellamy is starting anew. When she and her husband separate, she decides it's time to start again, and she is going to choose one hundred things that are important to her to bring with her into her new life, and let go of the rest. Gina has survived cancer - she is confident she can get through this. But as she finds it so difficult to let go of her past, will she be able to embrace her future? I loved the idea of choosing one hundred special things to keep and letting go of all the clutter in your life. We never did get to see Gina choose her one hundred things, and although I appreciate that instead she decided to make one hundred moments to remember, I was a little disappointed that the original idea didn't fully play out. However, I did enjoy the book. Gina is a strong woman, a survivor. She was a wonderful character with plenty of spirit and appeal. I liked the layout of the novel, that we got a glimpse into Gina's past in each chapter and a full picture of who she was built up gradually. I also like that there was a little bit of unpredictability in the ending. (LO)


The Secret of Happy Ever After (2011)

Anna is newly married to Phil who has three children, who have not made the transition easy for Anna. She is finding it hard to gain the girls' trust and get them to like her. She also wants to have a baby with Phil so she can have something that is truly hers that is not tainted by Phil's ex-wife and his children. But unfortunately for her, Phil is already past the point of wanting to deal with nappies and screaming babies. So in an effort to get away from the house of chaos, she takes on a job for her best friend, Michelle. The Longhampton bookshop Anna will be running is her dream come true as she loves to get lost in stories. Michelle, newly separated from her husband, has thrown all her energy into her two new shops, and is also struggling to keep things from her past a secret. This is a great read about blending families and friendships that will last a lifetime. (CG)


The Ballroom Class (2008)

Ballroom dancing champion Angelica has returned to her hometown and sets up a dancing class in the old town hall. Town planner Katie and stay-at-home dad Ross sign up as part of their marriage counselling while Katie's friend Jo and husband Greg are happy to come along for the ride. Lauren and her clumsy-footed fiance Chris want to learn a wedding dance; while Lauren's parents Bridget and Frank are old hands on the dancefloor. Trina and Chloe just want to meet some men. As secrets start to spill and their lives go into a spin, is it true that guilty feet have got no rhythm? Who will still be dancing together at the end?


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