Release date: May 17, 2019
It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.
On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…
I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?)
I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to.
Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister.
A beautiful book-club read for anyone who has ever hit rock bottom, longed for a fresh start, or needed to heal a broken, aching heart.
Every once in awhile I stumble across a book that is like a breathe of fresh air, and that was the case with this gem. It was beautifully unique and extremely touching and way more emotional that I was expecting, I just adored it!
The entire story is told via letters from Joy to her sister Lily and I really enjoyed the intimacy this structure provided. At the start Joy leaves her whole life back in England to take a new job in Denmark, it’s clear she’s looking for a fresh start after some big changes in her life and you slowly find out what she’s been through throughout the book. I connected to Joy immediately, she was raw and vulnerable in her letters to Lily but she was also incredibly funny and I got a real Bridget Jones vibe from some of her humor.
This really had it all, it was funny and charming, warm and wise and also heartbreaking at times. Joy was quirky and relatable and you can’t help but want the best for her, I was cheering her on the whole way. Totally recommend this one as a mostly feel good novel, it is sad at times but it’s ultimately uplifting and sweet.
Dear Lily in three words: Warm, Delightful and Touching.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.