Cover Image: Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, I have not been able to read and review this book.

After losing and replacing my broken Kindle and getting a new phone I was unable to download the title again for review as it was no longer available on Netgalley. 

I’m really sorry about this and hope that it won’t affect you allowing me to read and review your titles in the future.

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. 
Natalie.
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A worthy winner of the Comedy Women in Print 2020 prize, this book had me laughing so loudly on the bus that a man turned around and looked at me funny. But this novel is so much more than the laughs it provides. Just like life, it is funny and sad and touching and thoughtful, sometimes all on the same page. Although I’d never predicted that a book about dental assistant would be so enjoyable, I really did root for Lizzie Vogel as she attempts to get her young life on track.
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Nina Stibbe  is a delightful writer, funny, poignant, moving. This is a sort of prequel to her previous books, and adds an interesting insight to her early life.
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Thanks to NetGalley for a review copy of this book.

I was eager to read the third volume in the trilogy, having already read “Men at the Helm” and “Paradise Lodge”. From the first page you know you're in safe hands with comfortable characters that feel like old friends meeting new characters that expand and enlarge Lizzie's world and the reader's enjoyment.

In this book, Lizzie is now eighteen, and has taken the job as dental assistant to Dr Wintergreen in Leicester. Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly into adult life.

I loved the style of writing, the carefully drawn characters and the interaction between them. The humour and insights are sharp and witty and I will happily read more Lizzie stories in the future.
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A quick, easy to read and quirky story. Laugh out loud at times and depressing at others. The characters are well drawn and develop through the book. Would recommend for someone wanting something lighthearted.
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A heartwarming read with likeable, funny characters. 

This is the first book Nina Stibbe's that I've read and I'd definitely look out for other books by her. 

3.5 stars.
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A really lovely, gentle book.  A good one for holiday which offers a good story line, interesting characters and an ending which you might want and hopefully get!   A humorous, poignant but funny read.  Highly recommend.
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A story about a young girl’s first job at a dental practice and her family. A bit odd at times but entertaining enough for a quick read. Mildly amusing I guess!  I was provided with an ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review!  More like 2.5 stars as I’m quite mean!
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I love Nina Stibbe so much and enjoyed this book as much as her other works. Would definitely recommend this for fans
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I enjoyed this book and there were some genuinely funny moments. Also a few very sad moments. I loved the character and enjoyed her journey.
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I have loved Nina Stibbe ever since Love, Nina first came out. As always, she is charming and this story is delightful.
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What a great life affirming lifting book. Full of larger than life characters and a lovely story I fully recommend
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I enjoyed this book, however I didn't realise that it was a series and which I'd read the other first. It's my fault I usually check. I enjoyed this book, it was both humorous, and, heart-wrenching in parts. I loved all the other characters, some in a good way, some not so. I was a dental nurse in the eighties and whilst my dentist wasn't as bad as the one in this book, I could relate to a couple of things.
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This book is an enjoyable read, quite light hearted and funny in parts. I wasn’t aware it was the third book of a series; it can be read standalone, but I do wish I had known more of the background to the characters. 
The book is set in the Leicester as Lizzie leaves home and goes to work for a rather odd dentist and copes with the demands of trying to form relationships and with her off the wall mother.
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What a complete joy of a book! I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much. I can't stop recommending it to friends, family, strangers: I loved every single page.
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Despite its title, Nina Stibbe’s latest novel has nothing whatsoever to do with the punk icon Ian Dury (although he’s name-dropped a couple of times since he’s representative of the era in which the story is set), but takes place in and around Leicester in 1979/80, poking gentle fun at English provincial life.

Winner of this year’s Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, Reasons to be Cheerful is the third instalment in the endearingly dysfunctional Vogel family’s saga (following on from Man at the Helm and Paradise Lodge). The protagonist, Lizzie, has now turned 18 and is working as an unqualified dental assistant to the racist, misogynistic and frankly obnoxious JP Wintergreen. She has recently left her family home and is living in a flat above the surgery that comes with the job. Though intelligent and literary-minded, she is also entertainingly naive about life outside her small village – indeed, her descriptions of the quotidian can be unintentionally hilarious.

Lizzie begins a chaste relationship with Andy Nicolello, a handsome young dental technician, and gives much thought on how best to encourage him to go all the way. Still a virgin, she wonders if the combined socks and unisex sandals she wears to combat athlete’s foot may not be “conducive to sex”. When he becomes the tenant of her wonderfully wayward mother, the relationship becomes increasing complicated, and she’s left questioning if he was ever really attracted to her in the first place.

Regularly described as the heir to Sue Townsend, Stibbe’s novels are semi-autobiographical (she really did work in a dentist’s office), with great attention to period detail. Reasons to be Cheerful is about becoming an adult, loss of innocence and the development of self. You could call it a whimsical tale touching on status anxiety, getting above one’s station in life, salad spinners, casual sexism, Woman’s Own and dentistry in the ‘80s – but above all it’s a reflection on love and loss in a period of great social upheaval in Britain.

Stibbe’s books are cathartic and amusing at a time when we most need respite from politics and brief opportunities to chuckle over life’s little absurdities. Luckily you don’t need to have read the first two books in this loosely linked trilogy to enjoy the story, but I guarantee you will want to seek them out after reading this ingenious vintage comedy.
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Nina Stibbe is a fine author and I have enjoyed her previous offerings, especially Paradise Lodge. I really liked this one too although I did find parts of it didn't flow as I expected and even seemed to drag a bit.  However it has reaffirmed my commitment to never visiting a dentist ever again!
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Hilarious story with pretty funny characters! A great representation on life in provincial England. A great story about love, lust and finding yoursef! Cant wait to see what the writer publishes next!
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This books takes us back to the 80's in its full glory, with some innocence, whimsy and a little humour. It feels like the British version of the Goldbergs in the written form. Absolutely Brilliant!
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A sweet, quirky and heartwarming story set in Leicester in 1980 full of hilarious moments and relatable characters. If you’re a fan of the late great Sue Townsend, give this a read!
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