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Reasons to be Cheerful

by Nina Stibbe

Humour (fiction) Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Reasons to be Cheerful

A smirky, fabulously quirky, poignant novel and an absolute joy to read. It is 1980, Lizzie is 18, she starts a new job working for a dentist, moves into her own flat, and thinks she may have got herself a boyfriend (but isn’t entirely sure). Lizzie is a total delight, her courage, spirit and pithy observations mix into a heady cocktail alongside her apprehension and doubt. The other characters are beautifully realised in their own right, every utterance perfectly placed, it is difficult to pick just one out as when I called them forward in my mind, they clambered over each in a riot of energy. Nina Stibbe excels in the small, in fact the incy wincy details that are so beautifully observed you didn’t know they were missing until you read them, and could see and feel the entire picture. The understanding of human frailty and poignancy of human absurdity is so wonderfully explored. There is something compelling about the writing that lodged in my mind, and took up residence in my heart. I snorted (yes actually snorted) out loud with laughter and while heartache and break is never far away, thoroughly loved every word of Reasons To Be Cheerful, it’s just gorgeous!

Liz Robinson

Reasons to be Cheerful Synopsis

Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 Shortlist

Teenager Lizzie Vogel has a new job as a dental assistant. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. At least it means mostly getting away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal, novel-writing mother. But, if Lizzie thinks being independent means sex with her boyfriend (he prefers bird-watching), strict boundaries (her boss keeps using her loo) or self-respect (surely only actual athletes get fungal foot infections?) she's still got a lot more growing up to do.

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Reasons to be Cheerful Press Reviews

An idiosyncratic, bittersweet coming-of-age tale that certainly justifies its title - Kirkus

There's a strong Sue Townsend/Alan Bennett flavour to it all . . . funny and sweet - Daily Mail

A wonderfully funny novel . . . Nina Stibbe is still on sparkling form. - Oldie

Loved it! I so love Lizzie. She is brave and kind and funny and totally original . . . I couldn't have liked it more (as I think Noel Coward said.) -- Katie Fforde 'Nina Stibbe is an author of such effortless wit that she could turn a shopping list into a bestseller' -- Isabelle Broom - Women and Home

Funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish -- Marian Keyes

This made me laugh and broke my heart, it's a gorgeous, profound, tender book about growing up and discovering that other humans are charming, obnoxious, enlightening and odd. I think Stibbe is one of the all time greats -- Daisy Buchanan

Very few writers can find the delicate balance between heartbreak and hilarity like Nina Stibbe - Red Magazine

A joyfully meandering, episodic novel that probes what it means to become an adult - Daily Telegraph

Full of comedy, but with moving themes of loss and grief, it's an utterly charming coming of age story. A reason to be cheerful indeed - Sunday Mirror

The true heir to Sue Townsend -- Caitlin Moran Reasons to be Cheerful's tone has been compared to Sue Townsend's but I could haul in Alan Bennett, Barbara Pym and even Jane Austen . . . she writes brilliantly - The Times

Comedy gold . . . Reasons To Be Cheerful is just the read you need right now, seamlessly weaving together the big themes of life with charm and warmth - Stylist

If you loved Adrian Mole you'll adore Lizzie Vogel . . . quirky and witty, it also packs an emotional punch - Sun

I read all of Reasons To Be Cheerful last night in one GLORIOUS gulp and it's SUCH a joy - Nina Stibbe turns out more perfect, sharp, unique sentences than anyone else in the game. It just CARTWHEELS -- Caitlin Moran

So dense with amusing detail that I thought about holding the book upside down to see if any extra funny bits might spill from the creases between the page - New York Times

Stibbe's comedy probes what it means to become an adult, and how we form our financial, sexual, moral and political selves - Daily Telegraph

My friends, you will UTTERLY ADORE Nina Stibbe's latest novel Reasons To Be Cheerful . . .It is SO SO funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish -- Marian Keyes Lives up to its title - Sunday Times

Pitch perfect vintage comedy - Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241974988
Publication date: 02/01/2020
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780241240526
Publication date: 28/03/2019
Publisher: Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241974988
Publication date: 2nd January 2020
Author: Nina Stibbe
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Genres: Humour, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Adult & contemporary romance,

About Nina Stibbe

Nina Stibbe grew up in Leicestershire before moving to London in the 1980s. She is the author of the massively acclaimed Love, Nina, and lives with her partner and children in Cornwall.   Author photo © Rebecca Dawe

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