A Different Kind of Happy by Rachaele Hambleton

Themes: Adult, Contemporary fiction, family

The synopsis

Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes.

Jo said goodbye to peace and quiet when she got pregnant at 19, but now she has a chance to hit refresh. A partner she loves, five amazing kids and a house by the sea. But life is never simple and there is more than a little emotional baggage coming along for the ride.

Starting with that tw*t of an ex-husband who doesn’t pull his weight. Then there’s the untrained puppy, the work/life balance, a custody battle for the children and all the everyday ups and downs and chaos of being a patchwork family.
Surrounded by family dramas and mums who seem to have all their sh*t together, Jo must find a way to make friends and make it work in this new town.

Barbecues on the beach and dog walks open up new conversations, but as Jo gets to know everyone better, the picture perfect families might be in need of more help than she first thought…

When normal is not an option, surprises can lead to a different kind of happy family.

The review

This book is not what I usually read but its cover won me over while I was browsing the shelves of my local bookshop. And I’m glad I gave it a chance since I think it came at exactly the right time for me!

This book is heartwarming and comforting, and perfect to read while being wrapped in a blanket. It describes the ups & downs mums can encounter but also how women can end up in an abusive relationship, and how to reconstruct themselves after that. Given this theme, it was sometimes a bit sad to read but never reached the point where I would have had to stop my reading. It is written in the form of a diary, so it is very easy to immerse yourself in the story, even though it doesn’t really feel like you’re reading one.

In brief: I really enjoyed this story, even though it was sometimes a bit repetitive. As I said before, it was a really comforting book, this aspect being enhanced by the setting since the majority of the story is taking place in a small beach town. I enjoyed following the different characters, and especially Pat (the grandmother).

My rating: 4/5


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