Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (20 Oct. 2016)
It began with a promise . . .
Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything . . .
When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.
Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Searching for a Silver Lining by Miranda Dickinson will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.
The book starts wit Matilda (Mattie) attending the funeral of her beloved Grandfather, who she fell out with – and didn’t reconcile with – before he died. In the first chapters, we see Mattie trying to put the pieces of her life back together during a difficult time – she fell out with her Grandfather (we later find out why), she then found out he was dying and then just after he died, she split with her boyfriend and had to move house. The one constant in her life is her Vintage shop, which capitalises on her love for the 1950s – a strong passion she shared with her grandfather.
When Mattie is asked to visit a local residential home to talk to the residents, she encounters Reenie Silver – lead singer of her Grandfather’s favourite band, a band he never got to see before they broke up.
I can’t really say anything else about the plot as I don’t want to give it away!!
I loved this book! The two main characters – Reenie and Mattie – were so lovely and their connection and relationship is brilliant. They are like an old married couple – there is both a mutual warmth and admiration for each other as well as a bit of “one upmanship” and game playing.
There were many laugh out loud moments (one of them being the karaoke bar scene – I also had the pleasure of picking one of the songs Reenie sings in this scene and I am credited in the acknowledgements which I was pretty chuffed about!). There are also a few teary moments. The scene outside the hotel in the Breacon Beacons and the scene that involves the curtain (towards the end) both made me gulp sob!!
What a lovely story about the importance of letting go of the past, making amends before it’s too late and not letting the past define your future.
What was really touching when reading the book was that I was aware that the writer’s father passed away not long before the book was published. In a blog post about her father’s death, Miranda mentions the hours spent talking to her dad about his teenage years in the 1950s while writing the book – and the chapters are all named after his favourite 1950’s songs – This was never far from my mind when I was reading about Mattie trying to reconcile her grief.
A lovely book, a must read. And Miranda, I wish you lots of love as you and your family have your first Christmas without your beloved father. xxxx