‘When people in the village heard I was about to start working in the city they tried to unsettle me with tales of woe. The sun, blotted out by the tall buildings, couldn’t shine and the rain was poisoned by the toxic fumes that poured from the sock factories. My skin would be covered in pimples from the hell of it all’
So begins a young woman’s journey to adulthood. Lizzie Vogel leaves her alcoholic, novel-writing mother and heads for Leicester to work for a racist, barely competent dentist obsessed with joining the freemasons.
Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly, if at top speed, into the murky depths of adult life: where her driving instructor becomes her best friend; her first boyfriend prefers birdwatching to sex and where independence for a teenage girl might just be another word for loneliness.
In Reasons to Be Cheerful Nina Stibbe shows her extraordinary gift for illuminating the vital details which make us human. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of being alive.
Reasons To Be Cheerful is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy of both using the link below.
This was a sweet, heartwarming and quirky read that manages to be utterly hilarious!
The characters in this book are very well drawn and developed through the book. I loved reading about the odd bunch of people who make up Lizzie’s workmates and some of the antics they get up to. It was interesting to read about the different attitudes and practices of dentists back in the 80s which I hope aren’t true but wouldn’t be surprised to hear they were! This gives the book a slightly nostalgic feel to it as the 80s is perfectly evoked in all its glory.
I found this book really funny and often found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of the situations Lizzie finds herself in. It was quite heartwarming to read about her attempts to carve a new career out for herself and I found myself completely behind her as she starts on this difficult journey.
I was a huge fan of the Adrian Mole diaries so I was a bit dubious at first to hear Nina’s books described as their successor. However I’m pleased to say that I thought that this description was very accurate and I enjoyed this book as much, or more than Adrian Mole.
Huge thanks to Kate from Vintage Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Reasons to be Cheerful is Nina Stibbe’s latest book. She is also the author of award-winning Love, Nina – which was adapted for TV by the BBC – and the much-acclaimed Man at the Helm, Paradise Lodge, and An Almost Perfect Christmas. Born in Leicester, she now lives in Cornwall.