Sincerely, Me by Julietta Henderson | #bookreview | @JuliettaJulia1 @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

It’s publication day today for the fabulous Sincerely, Me by Julietta Henderson. I absolutely loved her first novel, The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman. which was one of my top reads in 2021. You can read my review of that here. I was really looking forward to reading this new book but also slightly anxious – would I enjoy it as much? Well, there will always be a place in my heart for wee Norman but now he has been joined by Danny and Wolfie.

About the book

When famously irresponsible Danny is the subject of a misleading newspaper article, two things happen;

1. Strangers start writing to him for advice he’s not qualified to give.
2. The niece he never knew he had turns up asking for his help.

Danny is the definition of a man who ‘could do better’. He drinks more than he should, currently lives in his best friend’s garden shed – and he hasn’t spoke to his sister in 16 years. But when Danny is the subject of a misleading newspaper article, claiming his lifestyle is actually quite enlightened, he suddenly finds himself in the limelight. Letters begin to flood in from strangers seeking his guidance.

Wolfie is the daughter of Danny’s estranged sister, Lou. She’s never met her uncle, but her mother is struggling. So when Wolfie sees Danny’s picture in the paper, she sets out to find him.

Within a week, Danny goes from being responsibility-free to a big brother, an uncle and an unwitting existential ‘guru’ to some very lost souls. Can he become the man they all need him to be?

My Thoughts

Ah, what wonderful characters Julietta Henderson has created in Sincerely, Me.

Danny himself is basically a good guy who has taken a few wrong turns and made a few wrong decisions because of guilt – and often because of beer! He is living in his best friend’s garden shed and that friend Dom is gentle, wise and kind. You might wonder why Dom puts up with Danny but Danny was there for Dom when he needed him and now he’s there for Danny. George is Dom’s six year old son and he is a hoot. He is a total chatterbox, says things as he sees them and is exuberant and funny. A newspaper article, mostly full of nonsense, leads to an unexpected reconciliation between Danny and his sister Lou. They have been estranged for 16 years and Danny has never met his niece Wolfie. Wolfie is anxious and worried about her mother who has recently had a bad accident and Lou in turn is so affected by what happened to her mother. I so enjoyed reading about all these characters and how they gradually came to know each other and grow closer.

When the newspaper article results in strangers writing to Danny for his advice, he finds he is forced to confront his own past as he attempts to help others. The letters were poignant and the responses often amusing and touching. Danny realises that much of the encouragement and wisdom he can share came from his father, even though he never really listened to him when alive.

There are themes of grief and guilt and the way they can have lasting effects throughout the years. One thing that struck me was how the events the characters remembered or the things they forget often differed so much. Memories of the same things can be entirely different for different people and we definitely see that here.

In the author’s earlier novel we followed Norman and his mum on an actual journey. In Sincerely, Me, we follow the characters on a different kind of journey. It may have been smaller in terms of distance but was huge in terms of emotional growth. A wonderful story of loneliness, grief and regret but also of courage, hope and fresh beginnings.

Sincerely, Me is published by Transworld Books today in hardback, ebook and audiobook. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour and to the publishers for my review copy from Netgalley.

About the Author

Julietta Henderson grew up in the rainforests of North Queensland, Australia. Like many Australians, her love affair with Europe began when she came to London on a working holiday and stayed for more than a decade.

Now a full-time writer, Julietta divides her life between Melbourne, the UK and wherever she can find winter.

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman was Julietta’s debut novel. Sincerely, Me is her second.

3 thoughts on “Sincerely, Me by Julietta Henderson | #bookreview | @JuliettaJulia1 @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.