The Secret to Happiness is the first book I have read from Boldwood Books list and if this is anything to go by, they certainly know how to pick a winner! It’s not, however, the first of Jessica Redland’s books I have read and you can catch up with my reviews of Searching for Steven here and Dreaming About Daran here. I’m going to be sharing an extract from the book with you towards the end of next week but today I’m sharing my thoughts about the book. You may already have guessed that I really enjoyed it and you would be absolutely right!
The Secret to Happiness is the story of three women who become firm friends through a bootcamp run by one of them. Karen is engaged to her business partner Ryan although with work being so busy they haven’t got around to setting a date yet. Danniella has recently arrived in Whitsborough Bay and is clearly troubled by her past with secrets she doesn’t want to share. Alison is in a relationship where she doesn’t feel valued by her partner Dave (oh how much I despised him!) and much to her own astonishment, has agreed to go along to the bootcamp with Danniella. Through the course of the book, the women face some dark times and have difficult decisions to make.
I loved all three of the main characters. I’m sure that many women who read this book will find the issues and secrets to be very realistically portrayed and probably find they can relate to one woman more in particular. Alison was the one I was drawn to most with her feelings about body image. I think many women will recognise the cycle of feeling miserable and turning to food for comfort. It’s a book that when I wasn’t reading about it, I was thinking about the characters and itching to get back to it.
Jessica Redland has created a wonderful story which is full of warmth and love and is rather emotional to read at times. The three women find not just support and encouragement in each other but learn to be more confident in themselves and to love themselves. They almost have to give themselves permission to be happy. That friendship and support is so central to the story.
One particular scene near the end made me smile so widely and yes, there were happy tears at times. And the secret to happiness? Well if you read this book, you might just pick up a few hints. This is a beautifully told uplifting story and I loved every page. In fact, I found it so inspiring that I am going to give something new a go. By the time you read this, I will be recovering from my first ever tap dancing class!
My thanks to publishers Boldwood Books for providing a review copy via Netgalley. The Secret to Happiness will be published as an ebook on 3rd September. At the time of writing, the Kindle version is available to pre-order for only £1. Seriously, don’t miss out, get yourself a copy of this lovely book at an absolute bargain price! Order your copy here: The Secret to Happiness
From the back of the book
Danniella is running from her past, so when she arrives at the beautiful seaside resort of Whitsborough Bay, the last thing on her mind is making friends. After all, they might find out her secrets…
Alison is fun, caring and doesn’t take herself too seriously. But beneath the front, she is a lost soul, stuck in a terrible relationship, with body confidence issues and no family to support her. All she really needs is a friend.
Karen’s romance has taken a back seat to her fitness business. But she doesn’t want to give up on love quite yet. If only those mysterious texts would stop coming through …
When the women meet at their local bootcamp, a deep friendship blossoms. And soon they realise that the secret to happiness is where they least expected to find it…
An uplifting story of friendship and finding the strength to come to terms with the past. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.
About the author
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels including Searching for Steven which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.