& BOOK REVIEW &
Synopsis: Every day of Algernon's 97 years has been broken up into an ordered routine. That's how it's been since the war, and he's not about to change now.
Until his 15-year-old granddaughter arrives on his doorstep, turning Algernon's black-and-white life upside down. Everything from Anna's clothes to the way she sits glued to her phone is strange to Algernon, and he's not sure he likes it.
But as the weeks pass, Algernon is surprised to discover they have something in common after all
- Anna is lonely, just like him. Can Algernon change the habits of a lifetime to bring the colour back into Anna's world?
Review: Okay, full disclosure, #GrumpLit books like this are usually not my jam! I really struggle to stay engaged with character-based books with minor plot. But this! This was *chefs kiss* perfection. It sort of reminded me of Little Miss Sunshine if you're familiar with that movie. Super wholesome, realistic, and the perfect mix of character growth and plot. I highly recommend for those wanting a book that will make them escape, without requiring much critical thinking.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book. I have chosen to write this honest review voluntarily and it reflects my personal opinion.
This author has impressed me with her perceptive insight across the ages, she demonstrates how easily misunderstandings occur because of an individual's background experience and personal characteristics. There were many moments which made me laugh out loud, it's a easy to picture similar incidents in households across the country. Equally there were times when it was sad to realise how one comment can be misunderstood and cause hurt feelings. The characters are beautifully-drawn: the cover is a lovely illustration of Anna's personality and as someone without any artistic ability whatsoever I was entranced by her ability to paint so beautifully and see the world in colours, and the more I learnt about Algernon and Helene the sorrier I felt for them as their experiences shaped their family lives. This is such a wonderful book I have signed up to follow this author and completely recommend it.
I really enjoyed this book - it was heart-warming and life affirming.
I loved reading about how Anna and Algernon's relationship evolved, it was very poignant and emotional and described beautifully.
A great read
Emotional, heartwarming and inspiring, loved it!
On the surface, it is a simple story of a lonely, rather grumpy old man who has his life changed and colour brought into it by a young woman who breathes life into wherever she goes. But start looking through the layers of the story and you will easily see that there's more to this than meets the eye, it's about starting again and second chances at living and being happy, it's about complex families and love. It's beautifully written and a real joy to read and meet these two wonderful and very realistic people I can't wait to read more from the author.
While cute, and I liked the characters, I didn’t finish this title. It’s a book I may want to come back to in the future, but I wasn’t interested enough to continue.
A beautiful story reminiscent of A Man Called Ove and The One Hundred Years of Margot and Lenni. Every Shade of Happy is about a grumpy teenage and a grumpy old man and how they enrich each other's lives.
Thanks to #netgalley and #Aria and #Head of Zeus for an arc to review of this novel.
Its Women's Fiction, an intergenerational story of a young girl and an elderly man.
Its probably great for anyone who loves women's fiction or contemporary fiction. I just could not connect with anyone in the story. I think I've determined that contemporary fiction is just not my genre.
This book is already out.
Such a sweet and endearing read for the weekend. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Oh my gosh, this book melted my ice cold little heart!! I have never read a story with older MCs but wow, this was so adorable! 5 stars and I would recommend people of any age read this phenomenal book!
I loved this book, and I am thrilled that I chose to read it. Helene has to return to her home after her partner breaks up with her, years after she left as an unwed pregnant young woman. Her daughter Anna struggles to find her way in her new home, especially since she is quirky and unique in every way. Algernon, the cranky, curmudgeonly grandfather, has never found a way to express his feelings. Reminiscences of his difficult childhood help to explain his past, while he adjusts to adding two people to his life. The developing and evolving relationship between Anna and Algernon is beautifully written, as is the whole book. The characters are so appealing, including Jacob, the boy next door who helps Anna adjust. I highly recommend this heartwarming and moving story. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
Uplifting, emotional and absolutely wonderful, fall in love with Phyllida Shrimpton’s fantastic new novel, Every Shade of Happy.
Algernon is ninety-seven years old and a man who likes his routine. Algernon cannot remember a time when he had ever deviated from his carefully planned schedule and fast approaching his tenth decade, he doesn’t think that he will be changing anytime soon. Algernon’s routine has stood him in good stead since the war and nothing and nobody is going to manage to convince him to change his ways – until his fifteen year old granddaughter Anna turns up on his doorstep and turns his life upside down.
For nonagenarian Algernon, everything about his granddaughter is peculiar. From her clothes to her obsession with her mobile that compels her to spend all day absolutely glued to her phone, Anna’s life is completely alien to Algernon. But despite the vast difference in their ages are they really so different? Or have they got more in common than they initially thought?
Will Anna and Algernon end up rescuing each other? And will their beige and boring lives get the burst of colour that they have been missing for so long?
Hopeful, heart-wrenching but ultimately uplifting, Phyllida Shrimpton’s Every Shade of Happy is a fun, whimsical, warm-hearted and gorgeous tale readers will want to tell all their friends and family about! With characters that are exquisitely drawn and wonderfully real and plenty of pathos and drama, Every Shade of Happy is a beautiful book readers will not easily forget!
Absolutely amazing read! Such a captivating read! Amazing cover art that was super eye catching would definitely recommend to all!
This book is a recipe I love when I pick a fiction read.
One part stodgy traditional old man, set in his ways. One part young, spunky, unique granddaughter moving into his space with her mom. What this book chronicles is the road back to forgiveness and understanding.
Love is a hard thing, especially when people are from different generations, which cause big challenges in communication.
I loved this book because the view points of the grandchild & grandfather contrasted to give the reader both sides. The family dynamics are complicated but this story finds a way to bring the characters some closure, even without a picture perfect happy ending.
This book is interesting and pulls at the old heart strings.
It was a great read.
Fifteen-year old Anna Maybury and her single mum Helene must move back to Essex and the home of Helene’s ninety-seven-year old cantankerous father, Algernon. Helene and he had parted on poor terms years earlier after years of miscommunications, with the final straw being when he found out young Helene had become pregnant. Anna is unhappy about leaving her friends and the city, and, needless to say, neither is happy about the move to Essex.
Anna and Helene have a great relationship, and Anna feels comfortable and cheered on by her mother for expressing herself through her colourful clothing and body art. Unfortunately, Algernon seems less than enthusiastic about Anna’s bold sartorial choices, and the kids at Anna’s new school quickly begin bullying her, while a neighbour’s teen son seems the only person her age who doesn’t mock her.
Helene eventually finds a new job at a nature park, and is excited and energized, while Anna begins to be depressed. And though Algernon and his daughter and granddaughter didn’t get off to the best start, he notices Anna’s misery, and is reminded of his own miserable childhood at a boarding school.
Phyllida Shrimpton’s wonderful story about a family coming together gradually, and connecting through the different generations, was bittersweet and funny. Though Algernon can rarely seem to say the right thing verbally, he is a sensitive person, who relied on his loving and deeply missed and deceased wife Evie to manage the family interactions. That he and Anna, and eventually Helene, end up forging new, strong and loving bonds made me happy, while I was impressed with Shrimpton’s deft characterization and dialogue. A lovely book.
Thank you to Netgalley and to Head of Zeus for this ARC in exchange for my reviews.
Every Shade of Happy is a heartwarming story about finding a way to connect and forgive. And the importance of doing so.
Helene and her daughter Anna need to temporarily move in with her elderly father Algernon. They haven't seen each other since Anna was a baby and have had a hard time finding their way together since the death of her mother Eve. She was the glue that held their family together.
Algernon finds it difficult to express his feelings with his family and as a result he comes across as mean and uncaring. However, he pushes through his struggles and develops a loving bond with his granddaughter and learns how to connect with his daughter.
This was a poignantly beautiful story about family relationships and perseverance.
Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Beautiful, comforting read!!
Real curl up on the sofa stuff!
Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book in exchange for my review.
EVERY SHADE OF HAPPY
What do you get when you bring together a crotchety old man and a displaced teenager? You get this utterly beautiful and touching story.
Algernon is in his 90’s and lives a lonely existence.
His phone never rings, until one day it does.
When her mother’s boyfriend ups and leaves Anna’s world is pulled from under her.
Her mother, Helene has no other option than to call on her estranged father to put a roof over their heads.
Anna and her grandfather have never met and didn’t even know the other existed.
It’s a period of great upheaval for everyone, but as time passes Algernon and Anna learn more about each other and find that despite the difference in their generations, they actually have more in common than they could ever have imagined.
Told from the voices of Anna and Algernon, this is a charming and engaging read.
Algernon is stuck in his ways, but understandably so. Anna is a colourful girl, who struggles with moving to a new home and school,. However, between them, something quite precious is formed.
So if you like a book that will melt your heart, has some quirky humour and a cactus called Gary, Every Shade Of Happy is most definitely for you.
Out now on audio, hardback and ebook.
Paperback release date 6/7/23
With thanks to Netgalley and Head Of Zeus for digital arc of this title.
This was a great intergenerational story told in a dual POV. I always like different points of view storytelling and this one turned out to be really well written with some brilliant characterisation. I've always though teens get on better with their grandparents than perhaps their own parents get on with their parent who they are having to worry about and care for, and this seems to be the case here. We have a young girl, artistic, colourful who has never met her grandfather (his fault) but finds herself living with the 97 yr old Algernon. Not a relationship usually made in heaven and yet these two form a bond which is heartwarming and, possibly, true to life.
Shrimpton has come up with a great idea for a novel and carried it through with superb characterisation and a story that will pull at the old heart strings.
I love grumpy old men books and that's a fact. This was soooo cute and fun to read. I loved the characters and the whole pLot line.
Every Shade of Happy is a heartwarming story about independence and familial relationships. The main character Algernon is 97 years old, lives alone with his cat who he aptly named Cat, and is very set in his routine. He is a widow with one daughter Helene whom he has an estranged relationship with. When Helene and her daughter Anna find themselves in a need of a place to stay, Algernon reluctantly agrees to let them move in with him. Now they are all under the same roof and will forever be changed.
Prior to her life being uprooted, 15 year old Anna had never met her grandfather. When her mother was pregnant, she had a falling out with her father, and though him to be an uptight controlling man. Algernon thought Helene was too flighty and when she became pregnant, he felt like she had forever ruined her life. Anna has only heard about this tense dynamic from her mothers point of view but, her first interaction with her grandfather further cements her negative opinion of him.
Algernon has no idea what to do with this young girl who is now in his life. Anna enjoys brightness and colors and adventure which is not something Algernon has had in his life for years. Yet, the more time they spend together, the start realize they have more in common than they originally thought. I adored the dynamic between these characters. They both have experiences a deep loneliness in their lives and these feelings of being an outsider in society help bond them together. The chapters alternate in perspective which I liked because you learned the background of each of them and what they bring to their relationship.
As this is an intergenerational story, there is a strong focus on what the three individuals from three different generations bring to the family and their relationships. Helene really isn't sure what to think about the bond that is forming between father and daughter. She is also building and finding herself. The characterizations of all the characters is just so good. They are layered and feel real with flaws. They are all likable characters, and I also liked the friendship of Anna and the boy next door named Jacob. It was just the right amount of sweetness with a hint of young romance.
I became very attached to these characters and their growth as individuals and as a familial unit. This is a story filled with moments that will make you laugh and memories that will break your heart. Especially with Algernon - such a sweet cantankerous man. Everything that has happened to these characters has helped bring them to the place they are now in. I love how they come together, learn about each other, learn from each other, and grow. It's so beautiful.
Every Shade of Happy has so much heart to it. This is more than just a story about a young girl breaking down the walls of her grandfather. It is a story of second chances, trusting yourself, learning from the past, and embracing the future. There are just so many layers for both the story and the characters. This will be a real hidden gem for readers.