Reading Time: 2 minutes

Anyone
who loves animals is going to adore Happiness for Beginners, as it has nearly
as many animal characters as human ones. 
For example the first chapter of the book is about Anthony the
Anti-Social Sheep, and the final scene is also about him.  But what a lot goes on in between!

There are several intriguing stories threading
their way through the pages, as well as a large cast of human characters.  So there is plenty of non-animal action in
the book. 

First there is the story of Hope Farm – a
place of learning for children who have been rejected by mainstream schools,
run by Molly Baker.  We hear about how
the farm was set up and about its future, which is under threat.

There are two romances interwoven in the story
of the farm.  The first involves Shelby
Dacre, the dashing and handsome soap star who arrives seeking help for his
semi-delinquent son Lucas.  I will leave
you to discover the other romance when you read the book!

Then there are the stories of the progress of
Lucas and the other struggling students as they learn about coping with life
through looking after the non-judgemental animals on the farm.

As in her other books, in Happiness for
Beginners Carole Matthews provides us with a fascinating, fully-formed little
universe to explore and conjures up lovely characters to delight us.  The importance of friendship is a familiar
theme in the worlds created by Carole Matthews and it is a strong message here
as well.  However the most important message
of the book is conveyed on the cover: there is always a second chance and there
is always hope.

Book cover - Happiness for Beginners

THE SMALL PRINT
Happiness for Beginners
Author: Carole Matthews
Publisher: Sphere
Publication date: 21 February 2019
ISBN: 978-0751572100
RRP: £9.35 (Hardback)

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