Monday, May 1, 2017

Don't Worry, Life is Easy by Agnes Martin-Lugand

I was thrilled to be able to read this sequel to Happy People Read and Drink Coffee (click on the link to read my review from 2016), because quite frankly the tale of Diane and Edward was so powerful I couldn't wait to find out what happens next.  If you haven't read Happy People, I'm going to probably spoil a few things for you, so beware.

Translated from French, this sequel picks up a year after Diane returns to Paris from Ireland.  Her bookstore is doing well after Diane renews her commitment to making it a success.  Her life has a routine; her grief has subsided.  Her feelings for Edward, however, are still pretty strong, and her time in Ireland and the people she met remain on her mind.  Felix, her best friend, is still a delightful character who can be counted on to keep things light.  

Diane has been going out on dates, and they're all pretty horrible.  Listening to the tales my dating friends tell me, it's amusing to read about similar experiences in Paris, the City of Love.  Bad dates happen everywhere!  But Diane does meet Olivier...a kind, quiet, handsome man who is very patient with Diane.  He's safe, and doesn't stir her wild emotions as Edward did in Ireland.  And who's to say safe is a bad thing, after the emotional devastation Diane has gone through?  

One night out, Diane and Olivier run into Edward, who's visiting Paris for a photography exhibition.  Diane is shaken, and her feelings for Edward are still strong.  She finds out his Aunt Abby is ill, and decides to travel back to Ireland to visit her.  

I'll stop there.  I won't give any more away.  I will tell you that this sequel is just as good as the first novel.  Agnes succeeded in reducing me to a sobbing mess more than once.  She writes so beautifully; simply said but so impactful.  Spare, but packs a punch.  You are wishing so much for Diane and Edward to find a way; can two people who live in different countries, are both emotionally damaged, and so wary find happiness together?  

It's a quick read, but one that will stay with you for quite some time after you've turned the last page.  It is one of my favorite reads for 2017. Both novels remind us that life can be so very painful, unfair, and dark.  But if we are brave enough, it can also be pretty wonderful, too.  

Thank you to Hachette Books for a chance to read this book ahead of publication.  Also a huge thank you to Roslan & Campion for giving me the opportunity to talk about this wonderful author once again.   

Don't Worry, Life is Easy will be available May 2nd in the U.S. in hardcover and ebook.  But you must read Happy People first!

Rating:  5/6 for a sequel that is just as good as the original novel about  finding the sunshine in life after devastating loss. 

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