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Book giveaway: The Secrets of Happiness by Lucy Diamond

(38 Posts)
UrsulaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Jan-16 15:45:09

This month we want to introduce you to Lucy Diamond, author of Summer at Shell Cottage and her latest book, The Secrets of Happiness. To find out more about Lucy, read her Q&A, and to apply for one of 50 free copies, go to the giveaway page.

Stepsisters Rachel and Becca have never been close and seem to live completely different lives but when they are inadvertently thrown together, they realise happiness and love can be found in peculiar places.

Picador have asked us to find 50 Mumsnetters to read The Secrets of Happiness and tell us what they think about it on this discussion thread. Go to the giveaway page to find out more and apply for a free copy.

You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion. Anyone who has read The Secrets of Happiness can post their feedback here, and all who post before 14th March will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2Shop voucher.

Don't worry if you haven't finished reading. Feel free to drop in at whatever point you've got up to and give your fellow readers your first impressions about the story, characters, writing style.

This giveaway is sponsored by Picador

CREATIVZ Mon 25-Jan-16 17:44:23

I <3 Lucy Diamond smile one of my fave authors, Beach Cafe and Shell Cottage are 2 of my fave books, really looking forward to reading Secrets of Happiness and Baby at Beach Cafe too, can't wait !!

toastedbeagle Mon 25-Jan-16 18:02:37

Love this author, have read all her books. Ultimate in comfort reading.

PestoSkiissimos Mon 25-Jan-16 18:14:17

Lucy Diamond is one of my favourite authors too, hope I get picked for the book giveaway smile

ContentsPage Sun 31-Jan-16 09:38:33

I want to get into reading this year as had no time when the kids were young. Lucy Diamond books look like the stuff I'd like to read.

UrsulaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Feb-16 12:59:07

This giveaway has now closed and the winners have been contacted by email. Looking forward to reading what your thoughts!

AliceInUnderpants Tue 02-Feb-16 13:06:23

Am really looking forward to receiving my copy of Lucy Diamond's 'The Secrets of Happiness'. I've been very ill in hospital and now home ang taking things easy and this book looks perfect for cosying up with. I read 'Sweet Temptation' a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it and am sure this won't disappoint 😊

Mumag4ches Wed 10-Feb-16 10:02:49

Got my copy of the Secrets of Happiness on Monday and am now half way through! I love it, it's so gripping, I can't wait to read what happens next! I'll confess it's the first book I've read since my youngest daughter was born (almost 6 years ago), I've tried to read authors but get bored part way through. Not this time, I've now found my new favourite author! Roll on kids bed time so I can read some more smile

Mrsmuddlepie Thu 11-Feb-16 09:01:37

It was lovely to receive 'The Secrets of Happiness' earlier this week and I finished it within 24 hours. This hard back version has a really pretty cover with a tree of family life with a spring like green background. It cheered me up just to look at it!
The book is about renewal and regeneration and is just the thing for a grey February day. The author writes very amusingly (and honestly) about the joys of family life and the huge love that can bind families together.
It is a light but ultimately very satisfying read. The book is set in spring/summer and there are lots of descriptions of gardens and the countryside which are a tonic in themselves. I really enjoyed getting to know the individual characters and in particular, I warmed to Becca, the stepsister/step aunt because of her good nature and the affectionate but practical relationship she has with her nephew and nieces.
The subject of the book might at first appear a little grim (dysfunctional families/emotional abuse from a partner) but ultimately it is about overcoming adversity and learning how to be happy and content.
The book brightened my week and I applaud Lucy Diamond for writing such an encouraging and motivational novel. It will help cheer up the darkest winter's day!

Mumag4ches Fri 12-Feb-16 16:32:52

Finished the book in 3 days. Every chapter made me keen to find out if Rachel got home and whether Becca would find her happiness. I loved the recipes in the back of the book too. Can't wait to try the welsh cakes! Fantastic book. Highly recommend, can't wait to read another. (And am hoping that there might even be a part two where the story continues!) :D

loosechange Sun 14-Feb-16 17:53:44

Thankyou for this. I read it with a Lucy Diamond book fest having got three others out the library after signing up for the giveway.

I thought the beginning was a little predictable, but thoroughly enjoyed it after that.

I am also a fan of the recipes, fun to try out.

madeinkent Mon 15-Feb-16 16:42:58

I only received mine today, what a lovely surprise, Thank you! I love Lucy Diamond's books.

Queenie72 Mon 15-Feb-16 21:34:06

I read this book in 2 evenings , is easy and enjoyable to read.
I didn't love it as much as the beach cafe - the descriptions in that book were so amazing I wanted to move there!!
I really liked the sister, her character was really well written , the plot was a bit predictable but this would make the perfect holiday pool
Side read or a cold winters evening by the fire book.

wizzyh1 Tue 16-Feb-16 11:11:11

What a lovely surprise to win a copy of this beautiful book! It felt like opening a box of chocolates - pure indulgence, especially as Lucy is one of my favourite authors. Although a light and easy read, Lucy is never shy of tackling some more difficult topics, and I think this is what makes her books rise above your average chick lit.
I must admit, when I read the blurb inside the front cover my heart sank a little with disappointment - I thought it sounded as though we were going to meet one of those buttoned up stereotypes in Rachel, who would dutifully relax and become more 'normal' as we unpicked her faults by the end of the story. In fact it was not at all like that and I warmed as much to poor Rachel as to Becca.
I'm within an hours read or so of the end now, and I don't want to finish!

AliceInUnderpants Tue 16-Feb-16 16:20:14

Was very please to win a copy of Lucy Diamond's new book. The Secrets of Happiness was an enjoyable, easy read. The story follows the strained step-sisters Rachel and Becca, as circumstances force them to come together. The book explores how easily misunderstandings can come about, and how changes can happen when we allow them to. It shows happiness is available to all, if we choose to work for it.
I'd love a follow up to this book, to see what happens as the sisters continue to grow their relationship, with each other, and others.

Raeray Tue 16-Feb-16 22:31:38

My book has arrived! What a lovely surprise I'd forgotten I'd applied.
Can't wait to start reading it this weekend.

purplemonstermum Wed 17-Feb-16 23:06:27

Thank you very much for my free copy of this book. I have just finished it. As others have said, I found it an easy and relatively enjoyable read. I thought it compared reasonably well to Lucy's other work, although in some ways I prefer some of her earlier books, which are perhaps more "meaty". I found that a couple of things grated a little with this book: 1) although Lucy tackled a lot of quite serious subjects - child neglect, abusive relationships, bereavement etc - I felt that these were sometimes glossed over a bit and treated in quite a trite and superficial way. I would have preferred more in-depth exploration of the issues; 2) There were quite a lot of coincidences and neatly tied up endings, which didn't strike me as very realistic! I would have preferred to see how the characters managed to find happiness without everything working out QUITE so well for them all...
But having said the above, I was still happy to carry on reading this book until the end, which is always a good sign! Thanks again.

VicKWhish Thu 18-Feb-16 11:28:59

As one of the reviewers has already stated, just looking at this beautiful book makes me feel happy! I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but you can rest assured that it's as feelgood as it's gorgeous cover implies. Although it doesn't shy away from some pretty bleak themes; abandonment, emotional cruelty and family breakdown, it's overall lightness of touch ensures that it's ultimately an uplifting read. This story of estranged sisters that both need help in different ways is both funny and moving which is no mean feat to pull off. I also loved the recipes at the back of the book and think a slice of the chocolate and raspberry cake with a cup of coffee, would be the perfect 'happy' accompaniment to this big-hearted book! 😀🍰☕️

FanofVan Sun 21-Feb-16 11:15:12

I sat down to start this book last night, just intending to read a few pages. At chapter 21 and half past one in the morning, I had to make myself put it down and go to bed!! Very easy reading with characters that I easily warmed to. Can't wait to pick it up again!

Fitzybelle Wed 24-Feb-16 09:42:35

I was delighted to get my copy through the door - thank you! I have never read any of Lucy Diamond's books before though I was aware of her. I am about halfway through 'The Secrets of Happiness' and am really enjoying it. I can totally relate to both of the central characters, despite them being theoretically very different. I can't wait to see how they reconcile their differences, assuming they do?!

ahigney Sat 27-Feb-16 17:49:59

Finished it really quickly.First book by Lucy Diamond i have ever read.What a beautiful edition as well.Great to have a book you are proud to show off.The whole premise is both funny and moving,and so warm as well.It's a lovely story that you want to recommend to your best friends.Would love to read a bit more about the sisters,a second part maybe.

hermancakedestroyer Sat 27-Feb-16 18:28:39

Thank you very much for sending me a copy of The secrets of happiness by Lucy Diamond. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - the first by this author. I was intrigued as I read the first few chapters and it had me hooked from an early stage. I have read 2 chapters a night for the past few weeks and really enjoyed it. It's been written very thoughtfully and you feel you can relate to the characters in the book.
I have 4 chapters left to read and I am looking forward to finding out how this book ends.
It is an easy read and great to read after a busy day to keep your mind focuses on something other than worries.
I will post again when I've finished it.

ckyle0602 Sun 06-Mar-16 05:22:25

I received my book and absolutely love it! I would like to thank yall for the wonderful book as I have already finished it and enjoyed everything about it. Lucy Diamond is one of the best authors of the books I have read in the past year!

CatOnMyLap Mon 07-Mar-16 17:30:46

Thank you very much for my free copy of this. As others have said, this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. I found the opening gripping and it was a great way to engineer the rapprochement between the two estranged sisters. Both the sisters were engaging characters in their very different ways but I found some of the characterisation a bit stereotypical and for me the chatty language jarred in places. I thought the book could have done with an edit - although I raced through the 500-ish pages there were parts after the first third that would have benefited from being a bit more sparsely written. I could see the happy endings coming from very early in the book - a bit like in a rom com where you know right from the start who the heroine will end up smooching. Nevertheless, I have to say it was a very satisfying feel-good read (and as others have said it did touch on some serious themes of abuse/abandonment).

FoxInABox Mon 07-Mar-16 17:36:06

What a beautiful cover, I love the colour. I've only just started but I am loving it so far. Lucy Diamonds books are always a fun read. smile

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