The Forgotten Guide to Happiness

by Sophie Jenkins

Relationship Stories Audiobooks of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Humorous Fiction Sagas

LoveReading Expert Review of The Forgotten Guide to Happiness

A charming, beautifully humorous, thoughtful and easy to fall into relationship tale set in the world of books, what more could you ask for!

Absolutely and completely adorable, this all embracing story will break, mend, and fill hearts with warmth, humour and love. Lana is bitter after her break-up and pours her angst into her new book, while much admired author Nancy often finds dementia leaves her in a confusing world. Jack acts as matchmaker with Lana and Nancy and they find their lives forever altered. The main characters light up the pages, Nancy in particular has taken up residence in my heart and soul. Sophie Jenkins has the most beautifully light and thoughtful touch, little bits of heartache sit right next door to gulps of laughter, while gorgeous literary snippets and references sprinkle the pages. As I finished reading, I actually said out loud “I blimmin love this book” and gave it a hug (it was witnessed, I got a couple of strange looks, but hey ho). Sophie Jenkins has written a relationship tale for book lovers of all kinds, for people who love hope and even need hope in their lives. I raise my glass to The Forgotten Guide to Happiness and what really matters in this world… love, in all its different shapes and sizes. 

Liz Robinson

The Forgotten Guide to Happiness Synopsis

'WONDERFULLY UPLIFTING' Trisha Ashley Sometimes, happiness can be found where you least expect it... Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Green has never been good at making friends. She's perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. Or at least, that's what she tells herself. Nancy Ellis Hall was once a celebrated writer. Now eighty, she lives alone in her North London house, and thinks she's doing just fine. But dementia is loosening Nancy's grip on the world. When Lana and Nancy become unconventional house mates, their lives will change in ways they never expected. But can an unusual friendship rescue two women who don't realise they need to be saved? An irresistible story of love, memory and the power of friendship that readers of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Lido will adore.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008281809
Publication date: 9th August 2018
Author: Sophie Jenkins
Publisher: AVON, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Primary Genre Relationship Stories
Other Genres:

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The Forgotten Guide to Happiness Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

A thoroughly good read, perfect for summer.

I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and one that I would recommend. The fantastic character of Nancy Ellis Hall was my favourite and very well written.

Victoria Emerson

What a heartwarming exploration of identity and love in all its forms.

When you’re trying to write a love story, maybe the best way is to live it!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgotten Guide to Happiness. I loved the plot and although it’s relatively simple it is so satisfying to read because not only does it have a lovely romantic heart, the conceit of writing as a catalyst for the book is perfectly handled, so that it is actually a very useful book for aspiring writers as well as a warm, compassionate and engaging story.

Lana is a hugely appealing protagonist. She is flawed, insecure and totally human. Once or twice I found myself telling her ‘No! Don’t DO that’ because I cared about what happened to her.

However, it is Nancy who steals the book for me. Sophie Jenkins has shown so realistically and sensitively that those suffering dementia are still people and Nancy embodies true identity through her confusion, her larger than life personality and her love of colour. Her speech adds such humour too so that whilst I felt sorry that she was suffering the disease, I felt uplifted and positive too. What is so cleverly done is the message that Nancy can remember what really is important in life whereas those not suffering her dementia don’t always have the same skill of recollection.

The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is a lovely book. It has unexpected depth as well as a lightness of touch so that it’s a perfectly balanced and wonderful read.

Linda Hill

A great summer read that I know you'll come back to again and again.

This is the story of Lana, a writer looking for inspiration for her second novel. After her first draft is canned by her agent, she faces a dilemma - find a new story or a different career. Then she meets Jack - a hero looking for a story, and Lana's life changes once more. Accepting a teaching post at a Literary Society and moving in with Jack's novel writing, dementia suffering step mother we are swept along with Lana on the winds of change from 'dates that aren't dates' to fireworks in the park and fighting off social workers.

Just as life starts looking up a face from the past throws a giant spanner in the works and we wonder whether anyone will be happy again.

A great summer read that I know you'll come back to again and again.

Alison Bradbury

A cracking read dipping it's toe into the many complex aspects of life and relationships. Very approachable and hugely enjoyable. You are willing Lana to see what we as the reader can see from the start!

Sophie writes with candor on many areas of friendship and family. It knits together very well. It was intriguing using elements regarding advice on writing a book along with the narrative of the story. I felt I learnt things as I was reading and how a book is structured. Brave to do when your own book can be under scrutiny... Sophie was not frightened to tackle subjects such as dementia either. Nancy brought light and clarity to the book. A thoroughly enjoyable read. One to curl up on the sofa with a extra large mug of tea.

Isobel Finbow

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008281809
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Format: Paperback

Publication date: 09/08/2018
Format: Audiobook

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About Sophie Jenkins

Sophie Jenkins is a serial joiner of writing groups and workshops and a prolific short story writer. To encourage her creativity she regularly enters half-marathons and trains by running from her home in North London to breakfast in the centre of town with a notepad. The character of Nancy in The Forgotten Guide to Happiness is based on her experiences with her own mother, who was diagnosed with dementia fifteen years ago.

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