Daisy by J Paul Henderson

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Daisy by J Paul Henderson

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A character-rich story, full of heart and humour.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: April 2020
Publisher: No Exit Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857303301

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This is the story of Herod S. Pinkney, a rather unusual (yet somehow charming) man who is in search of a woman called Daisy, whom he first sees in an episode of Judge Judy on television and instantly falls in love with her! Rod is writing the novel of his quest, guided by an embittered ex-literary agent who is now clearing glasses in a pub for a living. Determined to find and meet Daisy, the book takes us through Rod's life, introduces us to his friends, and tells us of what happens in his quest for love.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I started this book, but it very quickly became an easy to read, funny and charming story. Rod didn't have the easiest start to life, overshadowed by an older, deceased brother who was everything his father had wanted, whilst Rod seems to be everything his father despised. The book teeters between dark comedy and sadness, but it is deftly done, so you feel uplifted as you read, rather than depressed. Rod's life follows an interesting, and unusual path, and meeting the important people in his life is a joy, as they are cleverly depicted, and also very funny.

Whilst the story hangs on the quest to find Daisy, actually not a huge amount happens in the book, so those looking for a plot driven story might be disappointed. It's more situational, and it's more about the characters than the story. These include a neighbour who is an expert tunneller, who loves to eat grapefruit for breakfast but is now married to a woman who refuses to allow grapefruits in the house. He uses his tunnelling skills to continue his enjoyment of the banned fruit...Then there is Rod's cleaner, Nelly, who is an ex-nun and she is married to Eduardo, a man on the run from a Peruvian terrorist group. I know, they all sound a little odd, but they are introduced so cleverly, and with such warmth. I really enjoyed being immersed in Rod's world, and learning about how he had arrived at his current situation.

Rod, and his friends, are certainly eccentric, and things don't always go to plan. But you can picture each incident as it arises, and Rod is so gentle that you warm to him more and more as you read, finding yourself really routing for him in his unlikely quest. Rod hires a private investigator in America, to try to track Daisy down, and the book culminates in Rod's trip, with Donald the grapefruit-lover to accompany him, over to California to finally meet the woman of his dreams.

This is a heart-warming, meandering story that was really very charming. I enjoyed it, and am now looking to go back over the author's previous books to read those too.

Further reading: You might also enjoy The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce or A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


Buy Daisy by J Paul Henderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Daisy by J Paul Henderson at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Daisy by J Paul Henderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Daisy by J Paul Henderson at Amazon.com.


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