“A tale of finding happiness in the most surprising places.”
I bought ‘The Seven Secrets of Happiness’ when I was looking for a feel good chick lit to cheer me up. I thought the title was apt for that purpose – and I do admit that I am always one to judge a book by its cover!
I have to say that the book didn’t immediately do what it said on the cover, as it had me crying after the first few chapters – not exactly the feel good book I was looking for! But it grabbed my attention, being a sucker for depressing stories and love stories in equal measure – so I kept reading, and found it to be a very good book, with more true emotion than most chick lits. There is a tone of depression and grief continued throughout the book, but at the same time, it does show emotional strength and growth, and in that way, does bring veiled happiness, as well as making you evaluate aspects of your own life, in a way that most books of this genre usually wouldn’t.
Set in Belfast, the story follows Ruby, through the loss of her husband, learning how to get on with her life, finding happiness in new places, and learning lessons for how to live – the seven secrets of happiness. Working in a small boutique, Ruby makes 7 handbags, and with each handbag sold, she learns a valuable life lesson, from appreciating beauty in small, seemingly insignificant things, to doing good deeds. And of course, there is some romance intertwined in the story, as Ruby finds a perfect match in a Widower, Tom, who is leaning his own lessons in how to live without his late wife.
I found this a very interesting and enjoyable read, and it made me question many things in my life. One thing I love about books is when they really make you think, which this one definitely did! Am I emotionally independent? Is that really necessary to be happy? If I had better mental and physical health, would I be happier? Have I really let go of my past? Or should I forget it entirely? This book made me question all these things, and many more, while maintaining the girly writing style that I’ve come to expect from chick lit.
I would suggest this as a good read, but don’t expect it to be the happiest book you’ve ever read, despite the title, as although there is happiness, it is very much veiled in grief throughout the book. All in all, it was a very compelling, emotional read; definitely not the traditional happy ever after love story I was expecting!
Contributed by Jenny, who can be found here.