The Best Days Of Our Lives | Lucy Diamond

Reading Lucy Diamond is akin to receiving a powerful emotional blow in the solar plexus.

She has the uncanny ability to look right into a person’s heart and convey the most hidden secrets and feelings they harbour, in ways that feel innovative and natural. The Best Days of Our Lives takes all those features and delivers an outstanding read that is simply fabulous.

The story is essentially about the grief her family feels when Leni dies following a bicycle accident. Lucy Diamond explores how guilt, despair, loneliness, isolation, anger and vulnerability reverberate through those left behind.

Humour, love, excitement and joy

You’d think that would make for a miserable or maudlin story, but not a bit of it! There’s humour, love, excitement and joy in The Best Days of Our Lives too so that, while the reader needs a tissue or two along the way, the overall sensation is of a fabulous, uplifting, and life affirming experience.

Leni drives the narrative, making her relationships with the other characters shape them and bring them to vibrant life. I loved meeting them all because they are messy, flawed and human.

There’s such depth that it’s hard to accept that all the people here –  Alice, Belinda and Will in particular – are not real people. I felt their emotions every bit as much as they did because I believed in them so completely.

The mystery of Leni’s last few weeks

I loved the uncovering of Leni’s character through the memorial page, the depiction of a fragmented family and the members’ gradual understanding of what made everyone behave as they did.

There are touches of mystery and romance woven into the story too so that it really is a mesmerising read. It keeps the reader guessing every bit as much as Alice as she tries to piece together Leni’s last few weeks.

Even better is the sensation of being let into other secrets not all the characters know, but I won’t spoil the story by saying more!

Reminding us how to fly

I guarantee that anyone reading The Best Days of Our Lives will find it hugely relatable and take solace, pleasure and joy from it. Reading this one might just inspire you to try something new in your own life.

Lucy Diamond metaphorically reminds us how to fly, with such positivity that The Best Days of Our Lives is simply not to be missed. I adored it.

The Best Days Of Our Lives by Lucy Diamond is published on February 16 by Quercus, £16.99 HB.

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