Becca’s life has been a mess since her dad died. She has thrown in the towel on her jewellery business and is living in a dingy Birmingham flat, scratching a living in the hospitality industry. When her niece suggests to their baby-sitter that her aunt is the best option to look after them all, Becca makes her way to Hereford and her pristine sister’s house.
The result is a warm and funny read as Becca, unfit but very creative, helps keep her sister’s business afloat, and has to suddenly be a caregiver to her rebellious nieces and nephew. When Rachel gets home she’s not happy with having to depend so much on Becca, for whom she has a needling resentment. How the two overcome their differences and unearth the truth behind a couple of misconceptions drives much of the plot.
The characters of slap-dash, loud and undisciplined Becca and uptight, perfectionist Rachel are perhaps a little stereotyped if you look too closely. Better to just rattle through the story and enjoy the twists and turns and madcap humour. The minor characters of Rachel’s children and clients are more quirky and satisfying, however. The Secrets of Happiness is a light, diverting read perfect for the hammock or deck chair.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue link: The Secrets of Happiness