Lessons in Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman
|Lessons in Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: Willow and Holly are identical twins but their lives could not be more different mainly because of incidents from the past that Willow has learned to live with. Whilst Holly is comfortably married with two adorable daughters, Willow never seems to be able to hold down a relationship and has taken refuge in eating instead. If she is ever to move on and be as happy as her sister, she needs to confront her past – but is she strong enough to do so? An emotional and absorbing read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: July 2011|
|Publisher: Arrow Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Willow Briars is in her thirties and cannot exactly claim that her life is successful. Acrimoniously divorced, having no contact with her stepdaughter and working too many hours for a tyrannical boss, she cannot help but compare her life with her twin sister Holly's. But Holly has not had to live with the trauma that Willow endured as a child even though she has always been there to support and help her. However, one day she stumbles upon and old and tucked away second hand shop with a wonderful pair of shoes in the window that seem to be calling out to her. The shoes seem to transform Willow; not only her stature and looks but also her confidence and the way she sees herself. Also, the people who know her appear to be looking at her differently too. Transformed, she feels ready to tackle anything life has to throw at her which is probably a good thing when her fifteen year old stepdaughter turns up on her doorstep, pregnant and having run away from home.
What follows, is a fabulous engrossing tale of love and friendship and confronting one's fears. I always enjoy the way that Rowan Coleman writes, and 'Lessons in Laughing Out Loud' is so well crafted that I just wanted to read more and more. The author very cleverly delivers the story bit by bit, introducing new characters and dropping hints about what might happen, keeping my interest throughout. It is by no means predictable although I couldn't help trying to guess what Willow's secret might be. There is also a great balance of humour and emotion which meant that one moment I might be chuckling to myself and the next attempting to hold back the tears. Overall, it is quite a poignant read and the title is very apt seeing as Willow appears to have lost the ability to laugh out loud, also stemming from her childhood trauma.
I loved Willow's character as she was vulnerable one moment and quite strong the next. She was always prepared to face whatever challenges were thrown at her and that made her an extremely positive character rather than a weak one. Because I really liked her, I wanted things to turn out well. It's an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable story that I hardly could bring myself to put down.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If 'Lessons in Laughing Out Loud' appeals, why not also take a look at The Happy Home for Broken Hearts, another fabulous book from Rowan Coleman.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lessons in Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Lessons in Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman at Amazon.com.
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