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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Feel good Christmas return to Hope Farm

    I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Happiness for Beginners, so I jumped at the chance of a second visit to Hope Farm. Molly is an unlikely heroine, more likely to be covered in manure than smelling of perfume, she lives in a caravan on the grounds of Hope Farm, a place which rescues both animals and children (albeit the children are only day-visitors). In the previous book she meets the TV actor Shelby and his recalcitrant son Lucas. Molly and Lucas get on well and he has come to live with her in the caravan, despite Shelby owning a large manor house nearby. Shelby and Lucas do not get on and there is a constant battle between them. We join Hope Farm on the run up to Christmas. Shelby is about to leave his soap opera and has accepted the opportunity to play the villain in a Birmingham pantomime show, while Molly's assistant Bev has persuaded the anti-social Molly to put on a Christmas open day to raise funds for the farm, a prospect that fills her with dread. This is such a feel-good, cheery, holiday novel, despite some sadness and some big issues. Molly and her motley crew of animals, most of which have issues, her students, most of which have behavioural or family issues, and the characters around the farm will make you laugh and make you cry I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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  • So very uplifting

    I really enjoyed the motley crew in Happiness for Beginners so was pleased to know there was a sequel and now I’ve read it I think it was even better than the first. This is a genuinely uplifting book with some very relatable humour as well as some thoughtful moments regarding the kids they are helping, as a parent of a child who suffers from mental health issues some comments in here resonated deeply but I really did enjoy this tremendously and appreciate that humour is a great way of dealing with the bad days and Molly, the main character, has bucketloads of it which chimed so well with my own sense of humour. I think this is my favourite Carole Matthews book yet and wholeheartedly recommend this if you want an uplifting, feel good read.

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  • A lovely read that will brighten your day!

    A lovely return to Hope Farm. This is the second in this series, and whilst it could be read as a stand-alone you would have missed how they got where they are now so I would highly recommend reading 'Happiness for Beginners' first. This time we're back at the wonderful Hope Farm, but around Christmas and the run up to their Christmas Open Day, which Molly is dreading as she's not a great people person, but Bev has said they need to gather local interest in what they are doing and need funds for their work to continue. Hope Farm is a place where children who are disadvantaged or who can't get on in mainstream school, for whatever reason, are sent to try and help them. Molly owns the farm, and has various helpers, mainly Bev and Alan who keep everything under control, or try to! There are a multitude of animals, lots of them very naughty, to look after, who are rescues from various places. I just love the animals, the favourite part of these books for me! Molly is in a relationship with Shelby (an actor who helped fund the move to their new farm) and his son, Lucas (moody/teenager), lives with her in her caravan on the farm, as he doesn't get on with his Dad. Shelby was the only really annoying part of this story, he really irritated me and I wasn't really sure why Molly was so lenient with him. But we also have another new character, in the form of Mayor Matt, who I absolutely loved. Hopefully we'll see him in another installment of this wonderful series. So there's the usual animal mayhem, with plenty of laughs, but also some more emotional parts, and all set around Christmas. Just a really lovely read that will brighten your day!

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  • Loved it!

    Loved this book so much that it was really hard to put down and was often reading it in the early hours of the morning! Such a brilliant story- just goes to show that falling in love does not stop at 30 as many other writers would have you believe! Lovely change for the main characters not to be hot shot career girls too!

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