Cover Image: Every Shade of Happy

Every Shade of Happy

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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Absolutely amazing read! Such a captivating read! Amazing cover art that was super eye catching would definitely recommend to all!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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I will be very honest and say that I wasn't sure about this book at the beginning. Algernon just seemed to be a grumpy old man who didn't want his life disrupted. His daughter and granddaughter showing up was just a big disruption. And then some time passed, and Algernon slowly started getting to know his granddaughter and his daughter. I am so very happy to say I was very wrong about this book. 

Algernon gets a call from his daughter saying she and her own daughter need to move home after breaking up with her boyfriend. It is supposed to be temporary. The fact that Algernon wanted nothing to do with his daughter when she got pregnant is hanging in the air and creating a lot of tension. It seems that things are never going to change. However, Anna, Algernon's fifteen-year-old granddaughter just starts living her life and slowly but surely chips away at her grandfather's tough exterior. The result is a heartwarming story full of connecting and reconnecting, learning the meaning of family, and truly embracing what life has to offer, especially in the later years of ones life. 

Thank you Head of Zeus for this book. I voluntarily received a copy, and the views expressed are my honest opinion.
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This book is just beautiful. Full of emotional scenes  and interactions between such cleverly written characters. I loved the dual point of view for the story - Algernon finding the intrusion into his life so difficult and Anna struggling with being a teenager taken from her friends and home. Their time spent together learning to appreciate eachother was wonderful and many a times I laughed out loud whilst the next I was in tears. This is such a heartwarming read and I loved the journey they took and with the memories shared it really came alive for me.
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Have you ever felt a deep connection with a book you never expected? This had been this type of book for me, I thought I would just like it but it made me smile and I loved the core of it. It will be in my top list for a long time!
This book is told between different voices, all important, all with their own story to tell. Because even in the beginning you don’t seem to find a connection between Anna, a fifteen young girl, and her grandfather, Algernon, who is ninety-seven. They don’t know each other and it seems that being forced to live together is not a very good idea.
But, sometimes, with the people you seem to have less similarities with, are the ones that you are more similar to; you only have to find the little thread to connect.
This is a heartwarming and inspiring story; it’s not difficult to understand the characters and hope that everything will be better for them. Believe me when I say that these characters felt real and it’s impossible to not love them!
Even if the summer is almost over, this is a book that you’ll enjoy all year around, believe me.
Are you ready to discover “Every Shade of Happy”?
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Every Shade of Happy - Phyllida Shrimpton.  Teenage Anna and her mother Helene have to move back to live with Helene's very elderly father, Algernon, who has never met Anna and hasn't spoken to her mother since her unexpected pregnancy.  Algernon is very set in his ways and unhappy with this new disruption to his life, and Anna is very lonely living in the middle of nowhere, friendless and bullied out of her individuality at school.  Algernon digs into his own troubled past to try to find a way to save Anna from turning into him.  4 stars, very nice book.
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There is so much a young person can learn from an elderly relative (even if they are grumpy!)

Algernon’s wife Evie, his soulmate had died some years ago. Her passing had left him with a broken heart. Helene, his daughter had returned for the funeral but had not brought her daughter Anna with her. Anna’s birth – out of wedlock – had caused a huge rift between father and daughter. However, when Helene’s partner suddenly declares that he has found a new (male) lover with whom he is deeply in love, Helene has no option but to phone her father and ask him if she and Anna can move in with him “just for a short time until I find a job and make enough money to move into a flat.” 

Algernon had all the brightness, happiness, and carefree nature that he was born with knocked out of him at a boy’s only boarding school, where punishment with a whip and bullying was rife. He’s never shared that part of his life with anyone except Evie. 

Anna, a fifteen-year-old teenager with all the angst that presents itself at that age arrives and must face the challenges of a new school, midway through the year, and all the pitfalls of having no friends to help her fit into not just school but living with her grandfather – a man so close to the end of his life. 

Each character must face huge challenges if they are going to make this arrangement work. Algernon must make amends with his daughter Helene and get to know his granddaughter, Anna. Helene and Anna must adjust to living with someone who has lived an exceptionally long full life and is stuck in the past. 

It took me some time to understand the characters and their complicated pasts and present issues. However, the storyline slowly brings clarity and peace. 


Elite Group received a copy of the book to review.
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I absolutely loved this book! It truly did not disappoint and it has a special place in my heart. I was very emotional as I read through this. I loved seeing how the relationships developed throughout the book and it made my heart warm up. Such a beautiful read.
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