Although a chick-lit book which deals with family and relationships is a rather worn-out theme, yet it is the mark of a good author to make it a joyous read. With believable characters and real-life scenarios, author Lucy Diamond returns with another book which doesn’t fail to warm the cockles of a readers’ heart.
The story revolves around the fractured relationship between two stepsisters, Rachel and Becca, who began ti drift apart from each other after the death of their father. While fluctuating between flashbacks and the present, the author shows the lives of the two sisters – Rachel who apparently have a glowing life and Becca who has experienced disastrous relationships and is now resigned to a dead-end job. Becca, like the reader, remains under the impression that Rachel’s life is close to perfect. She seemingly has a loving husband, three children, and a blooming career. However, things start to unravel when Rachel is hospitalised after being attacked in Manchester, London and Becca is forced to step in. She finds herself untangling a web of secrets in her step-sister’s chaotic life, which involves an absentee husband, rebellious children and no friends. She comes to the grim realisation that the unblemished life, that she was once so jealous of, is now crumbling to dust. As the story progresses, the two estranged sisters rediscover the bond which holds them together, and learn to overcome their ego hassles.
While the plot itself is a little slow-moving and quite predictable but the distinctive characters involved carry keep the reader interested. The story is a classic reminder that we can’t judge a person’s life from a bird’s-eye view and also it is never too late to make amends.
The author’s language is lucid and straightforward. Just like her previous books, Diamond maintains her formula of leaving the reader with happiness, but with an unmistakable tinge of bittersweet pain.
Title: The Secrets of Happiness
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Price: Rs 399