Not to be confused by Alice Sebold’s ‘The Lovely Bones’ which, let’s be honest, is categorically not a lovely book.
My best friend and I have this habit of seeking comfort wherever we can, particularly when life or our mental health isn’t cooperating in a way we’d prefer. So whether it’s in a book, a movie, an activity or even just an object, we’re always sharing our methods of tranquility.
Recently i’ve been trying to find books that I could read that I would simply enjoy. Nothing that will elicit any feelings of fear, worry or disgust which tends to rule out many books these days and most authors like to terrify or disgust us all to death. Amy and I had the ingenious thought that now was the best time to seek out comforting books to read and begin our own little hashtag. The Lovely books.
The list will undoubtedly start small, but we’re up for the challenge of building a lengthy list of charming novels that anyone might enjoy during times of discomfort.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Written through letters, this novel is set just after WWII, Author, Juliet Ashton is struggling to think of what to write next when she receive a letter from a Man in Guernsey, he’s found a book that once belonged to her and from then on Juliet finds herself corresponding with a group of people from Guernsey. Their lives during Occupation unfold, as does Juliet’s next book.
I found deep comfort in reading this book during a time when I just couldn’t focus long enough to read anything at all. It’s so charming you have no choice but to fall in love with it’s characters and with Guernsey.
Major Pettigrew’s last stand
This is the perfect book to read before bedtime or to be picked up at any free moment of the day. This is not an on the edge of your seat, can’t put the book down, must turn the page to see what happens kind of book, but it is a calming, touching, peaceful and quiet book that you can leave any page feeling content. It is in fact just a lovely book.
Manor Pettigrew is a 67 year old widower, trying to navigate himself through the changing times of society and Mrs Ali is a kind, generous Pakistani widower, who find their lives becoming entwined through a lovely journey. You fall in love with each character and with them both, share their perspective on a life they both deserve to lead. As well as this, you get to travel through English villages, the countryside, the power of making a cup of tea for any situation and the dry wit that makes you feel right at home.
The Little Flower Shop by the Sea
I’ve never read a book like this before, I’ve always turned my nose up a bit at this area of chick lit. I assumed it would be full of cringe-inducing declarations of love and cheesy humour which is ironic really, considering the amount of deathly embarrassing content in some of the New Adult romances I used to read.
I chose this book after I saw someone on Instagram reading it and thought it might be just what I needed at the moment, as I really wasn’t looking for anything too strenuous, shocking, sad or profound. McNamara certainly delivered. The Little Flower Shop is a very sweet story set in St Felix which, I believe, is a fictional village in Cornwall based on St Ives (correct me if i’m wrong Cornwall natives). It’s full of charming, simple, slightly two dimensional characters and a very magical, obvious storyline. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an easy read and who genuinely enjoys a bit of sweet romance.