The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens

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The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A heart-warming story of how Ruby O'Neill came to terms with the tragic death of her beloved husband and discovered the secrets of happiness. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 390 Date: January 2010
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0141028569

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It was hard to think that life wasn't perfect for Ruby O'Neill. She and Jonathan had an idyllic marriage and a beautiful home. There was a job in a dress shop which she enjoyed and although she might not be close to her parents she had good friends. It was Christmas Eve and the tree had just been delivered by a lovely man on behalf of the garden centre when her world fell apart.

Jonathan had been killed in a car crash.

Now, I don't want you to shake your head when I tell you that this is a really heart-warming story. I know the book starts with a tragic death and a funeral, with Christmas sandwiched in between. I know there are tears and heart-break, but there's also the story of a brave young woman who climbs out of the pit of despair despite knowing she will never be able to love another man, helps others and even builds a business. Ruby O'Neill is one of those heroines who sticks in your mind long after you've finished the book. I keep wondering how she's getting on – rather like a friend whom you haven't seen for a while.

Whilst Ruby rebuilds her life she discovers six secrets of happiness. Take note of them because Ruby is spot-on right and it doesn't harm to apply them to your own life. You thought there were seven secrets? Ah, well, you'll have to read the book to find out why Ruby discovered six and where the seventh came from.

Unusually this book doesn't conform to the norms of female fiction. Usually you have a strong female lead, a strong male lead (or three) and all the other females fade into insignificance, but Sharon Owens has been clever. Ruby is strong but there's another excellent female in Jasmine, her friend, co-worker and eventually employee. They're chalk and cheese and occasionally I thought that Jasmine would annoy me, but there's a wonderful picture of a female friendship – good times, bad times and the knowledge that someone is going to be there for you, no matter what.

Curl up with the book on a cold winter's day. Don't get too far from the fire and a cup of hot chocolate won't go amiss. Take it on holiday with you in the summer, but be careful with the sunscreen as this is a book that will be reread.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you'll love Maeve Binchy or Soft Voices Whispering by Adrienne Dines.

Buy The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Seven Secrets of Happiness by Sharon Owens at Amazon.com.


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