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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Searching for a Silver Lining by Miranda Dickinson

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything . . .

When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Searching for a Silver Lining will take you on a trip you'll never forget.

Title:               Searching for a Silver Lining
Author:           Miranda Dickinson
Published By: Pan MacMillan
Date:               Oct 20th 2016
Link:               UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

My Review

First of all, what an amazing title which filled me with intrigue before I even started reading.
The title is also very apt as the story is about Mattie Bell who is devastated at the loss of her beloved grandad Joe. Her loss is even more painful because she unfortunately fell out with him not long before he died and was unable to say a last goodbye to him.

As the owner of a vintage shop she throws herself into work and is invited into a retirement home to display some of her products to evoke memories of times gone by for the elderly residents. Whilst visiting she meets a lively 84 year old lady called Renee Silver whom she clicks with immediately. It transpires that Renee was the lead singer in a group called The Silver Five and they were Mattie's grandad 's favourite band, who split up acrimoniously almost sixty years before. This devastated their fans who were at the Palm Grove in London waiting to see them.

Mattie can see a sadness in Renee and feels if she could get the band back together to perform one last concert then she could make it up to her grandad for not listening to him.
This becomes the start of a road trip for Mattie and Renee who travel around the country and to Wales in order to reunite the rest of the band. The owner of the Palm Grove had sadly passed away but one of his grandsons, Gil, could see the potential in reviving the band but it meant a lot was at stake for him because the club wasn't doing so well anyway. He decided to protect his investment and ensure the gig went ahead that he would accompany the girls. However he wasn't as patient with Reenie as Mattie was.
Before she sets off on the road trip she is surprised to be given a box containing her grandad's diaries from when he was younger. Apparently he had wanted her to have them to explain his decision which led to their argument. I liked how the excerpts from the diary were interspersed throughout the story.
This book to me was like being snuggled up in a loving pair of arms. I've loved all of Miranda's books for lots of different reasons and I think this one is my new favourite. Firstly I was touched because of the loving relationship with her grandad as I could very much relate to that and I know how devastated I would feel if i had fallen out with mine before he died.  This feeling of guilt drives Mattie through most of the book and is so painful it's almost tangible.

I was very touched by Mattie's realisation towards the end of the book and her acceptance of the situation.

Mattie's shop, Bell Be-bop, was a joy to visit and was were she felt most comfortable.
I really liked how Mattie began to feel close to her grandad again through his diaries and also through talking to Renee. Also how she started thinking about opening her heart to love again. The road trip was exhausting but lots of fun and certainly not as easy as Renee thought it would be.
Finding out Renee's story added a whole new dimension to the story and what I loved about this is that it celebrates older people who are very often forgotten about. I have a few much older friends and I love talking to them because they are so interesting and fun. Deep down they are still the young women they used to be and they have pasts and still remember fun times. My grandad was eighty one when he died and he was one of my best friends.

Also I was touched by the fact that Renee's real name was Irene and she came from Liverpool as that was my mum's name and where she came from but sadly we lost her at the tender age of 63. I would have loved her to have reached Renee's age.

I loved reading this book so much and will be passing it to my eighty two year old friend as I know she will love it.

Thanks to Miranda and Pan Macmillan for the book which I have voluntarily reviewed.

Book Angel x

About the Author

Miranda Dickinson has always had a head full of stories. Born in 1973 in Wolverhampton, she grew up in Kingswinford and dreamed of one day writing a book that would reach the heady heights of Kingswinford Library... Her first novel, Fairytale of New York (2009) was discovered on - HarperCollins' site for unpublished authors. Within three weeks of its release, Fairytale of New York had entered the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers List, where it remained for five weeks - making it the world's first crowd-sourced bestseller. The novel was also shortlisted for the RNA's Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010 at the Pure Passion Awards.

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