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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

On A Beautiful Day (Author: Lucy Diamond)

On A Beautiful Day (Book Cover)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance/Chicklit

On A Beautiful Day By Lucy Diamond

Four friends - they had seen each other through everything over the years...births, marriages, deaths, relationship break ups, having children....& now they were each about to be faced with another set of challenges.

Whilst sitting outside of a restaurant celebrating India's birthday & putting the world to rights as they had not all been together in a while, they hear a screech of brakes, screams & the sickening crunch of metal as one car collides with another. Jo, her nursing instincts ever present, rushes over to attend to one female casualty.

Eve can only sit there, her body & mind in a state shock having seen the car coming straight for her & then at the last second bouncing off the pavement, moving across the road knocking everything in its wake. India & Laura can't believe what they have just witnessed.

Seeing, first hand, this devastating event unfold before them, that they knew would be life changing if not fatal for those involved, the girls start to take stock of their own lives & make some changes. Jo realises the importance of relationships & living in the moment, & uncharacteristically decides to move in with a man who she has only known for five minutes, plus take on his resentful & spiky teenage daughter.

Eve realises that she must deal with the lump that she has discovered & finds an unlikely friend to help her navigate this most difficult of situations, in the shape of her hopelessly disorganised but kindly client, after running into him (literally) in her car & blurting out her reason for being so distracted.

Laura feels that having put the issue on the back burner for sometime, after the losses that her & Matt had faced in triplicate, she really does want to be a mother & must brave that conversation with her husband...leading to a very unexpected scenario where Laura realises that she is stronger than she ever thought possible.

For India, it brings her past screaming back to her with agonising clarity & a chance meeting with an old flame forces her to work through the events of 25 years ago & finally be up front & honest with her husband Dan.

Through it all, the ladies realise the importance of communication, patience & relationships, trust & accepting help, as well as inner strength & persisting with what's really important. Being open & truthful. At the heart of it all, the warmth & comfort of a true friendship group is everything. Kindred spirits who have your back & will do anything for you as they love you.

I defy any woman to read this book & not have the Sex & The City girls in their heads through the story. Apart from the obvious numerical comparison, Jo is most definitely Samantha Jones, although that is perhaps where the real likeness stops. When I started to read chapter one, I admit to thinking, 'Oh great, another girl group dynamic, with their expensive shopping trips & getting their hair & nails done three times a week', but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were real women, with real jobs, children, husbands & problems. They genuinely cared for one another & were really there for each other.....making me wonder how common women's friendship groups were in real life. Although, I was nearly part of one once...

As I began this, the character of Jo, immediately strikes me as ballsy & determined to get what she wants, hence the comparison to Samantha in S&TC, although, I can't imagine Samantha getting down & dirty in a clinical examination room with other people's bits....then again though!!!

Laura seemed to have this massive epiphany after the crash, realising that her job, working in the beauty industry all seemed a tad vacuous & inconsequential, which I kind of agreed with, although she never left or changed her job as I then expected. She realises that she has to go for what she wants most, & when she finds out that this has happened, but at a heart breaking & agonising cost she seems to grow in character. Being a huge Friends fan, her labelling herself whilst making flapjacks as 'the long lost sister of Monica Geller' kind of made my day!

Eve's illness forces her to lean on other people & when that initial person is neither a friend nor family, rather some random client whom she has merely tolerated previously, she begins to see that it is ok not to be ok, no man is an island, & subsequently opening up to her family friends & colleagues results in her being a much more comfortable & relaxed person.....although still organised! I did however feel that her experience of chemotherapy was glossed over with it being described as something that would be over quickly (not in any experience I'm aware of, & no mention of side effects such as hair loss or sickness!)

India has bottled up far too much for far too long. Attending Alice's funeral & then bumping into Robin, really gave her the opportunity for closure & putting the past to rest. I was slightly disappointed that she didn't confide in Jo, Laura & Eve but understood why.

There were no 'slap in the face' moments for me where a plot twist took me by surprise, although, I found a particular element of India's revelation unexpectedly sad.

This is an enjoyable novel & a worthwhile read with realistic believable characters & scenarios, with real moments of heartache (I shed a tear or three) & joy with a sprinkling of humour throughout. Definitely one for chicklit & friends fans.

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