Cover Image: The Best Days of Our Lives

The Best Days of Our Lives

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Another delightful read from Lucy.
A slight different take on a romance, but lovely none the same.
Some characters grow on you, some you love instantly.
5* read.
Was this review helpful?
I’d like to thank Quercus Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘The Best Days of Our Lives’ by Lucy Diamond in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Leni is on her bike when she’s involved in an accident which she doesn’t survive.  Her sister Alice is heartbroken as they were best friends as well as sisters, and feels very guilty as they’d had an argument recently and hadn’t been speaking.  While clearing out Leni’s belongings from her flat, Alice comes across her diary and decides to solve the mysterious entries for Leni’s last few weeks.

‘The Best Days Of Our Lives’ is a pleasant and very gentle novel of how a family cope with a tragedy and how the loss of a loved one affects them all in different ways.  The characters come across as likeable as Leni continues to be an important part of their lives, and Alice can still hear amusing comments that Leni would have made had she still been with them.  This is an entertaining story although a tissue might be needed, easy to read and with a nice ending.
Was this review helpful?
Leni McKenzie is knocked off her bike and has left a large void in the family unit.
She and her sister, Alice had fallen out and hadn't spoken for a few weeks. Now Alice is finding everything difficult and her work, love life and friends are taking the brunt of it.
Her brother, Will, is convinced it was all his fault and runs away to Thailand.
Her mother consults a clairvoyant and its becoming an obsession and her estranged Dad is expecting another child with his third wife.
Can they survive this loss and will it tear them further apart?
Was this review helpful?
i love a lucy diamond book and this didn’t disappoint. a warm story of family love and loss
the story revolves around leni and it’s advisable to have some tissues at the ready! a beautifully written book
Was this review helpful?
This book was soooo good. One that I definitely didn’t want to put down. 

The story centres around the McKenzie family - Alice, Will, Leni and their parents Belinda and Tony (who are long since divorced). Leni only really features in the opening pages and then we discover that some months have gone by and she has passed away. None of the family are dealing with their grief - Alice has become angry and disillusioned; Will jetted off to Thailand soon after the funeral and has been trying to sell fake goods to make a living; Belinda can’t handle the pain and grief of losing her eldest child and turns to a medium and Tony is trying to cope with losing a daughter he barely knew anymore having split up with Belinda many many years before. The family also have their secrets and these, coupled with the grief, are also dragging them down. Can they learn to live with their grief and move on?

This was an amazing book and highly emotional - tissues at the ready. I especially loved the memorial page and the tributes the people who knew Leni left. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced ready copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a beautiful slow build. I really liked the flashbacks to Leno on the memorial page, the stories showed how Leni touched so many lives, selflessly at times. Watching all her family come to terms with the loss was heart breaking at times. Each dealt with the loss in a different way, but it was nice to see them leaning in each other and coming together, achieving something that Leni would have loved to have happened. 
It was a wonderful story of loss and growth and it was lovely to read.
Was this review helpful?
I am a great fan of Lucy Diamond’s books. Like this one, they tend to be full of family drama, populated by many interesting characters. This story was a little different, and I have to confess to finding it a little difficult to get into, but once I did it held my interest right to the end. Not surprisingly given the subject, many tissues were required during the reading.

The story centres on Leni McKenzie, although the reader meets her in person only briefly since she is knocked over while riding her bicycle and killed before chapter one. Her already broken family are struggling with coming to terms with her death, each dealing with it in their own way. Her younger sister, Alice, is trying to piece together Leni’s last few weeks with the aid of her sister’s diary and recollections from her friends. Her mother, Belinda, is spending a fortune on the phone to a clairvoyant who claims to be channeling Leni’s thoughts. Trying to hide from his feeling of guilt, Leni’s brother, Will, has taken himself off to Thailand, where he is struggling to make a living. Then there’s estranged father Tony who has different guilty feelings and the stress of his new family and a baby on the way.

I didn’t find this undoubtedly well-written book the easiest to read. Death is a difficult subject to write about I’m sure, but the author found what I considered an interesting angle from which to approach it. The reader is privy to the thoughts of the different family members, each of whom has their own way of dealing with their loss. Although Leni’s fate is central to the story, each family member is continuing with their own life, details of which lent extra interest to the book. Even though I met Leni only fleetingly, I really got to know and like her as the story progressed. I wasn’t sure how I felt about some of the other characters to start with, but they too grew on me with time. This is definitely a book which could be classed as a weepy, but there is a message of hope there too.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the eARC.

This was a good read, kind of out of my preferred genre, as it’s far more drama than romantic comedy. The novel delves into the complexities of family and how family members cope after the loss of a loved one. Tragedy brings family together but it also brings with it suffering, pain and a whole range of coping mechanisms. I struggled through parts of this story, but I didn’t dislike it.
Was this review helpful?
I found it moving and poignant, a story about grief and how to deal with it. I liked the style of writing and the storytelling.
A good story, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I have read several of Lucy’s books and love her writing but I struggled to get into this one. The characters are believable but with so many you need to focus. Everyone deals with death in a different way both in real life and in fiction. A stand-alone book which I would still recommend. Thanks to Lucy and her publisher. Thanks also to NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
You go out with friends for a birthday lunch and as a result of a tragic accident you start to question your life.
Joe, Laura, Elle and India begin to question aspects of their lives after witnessing a fatal road traffic accident
The book explores how easy it is to take things for granted and not full appreciate what you have.
It's a real story of friends and what true friendship means. As ever a great book by Lucy Diamond
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an early review copy.

The story touches on the difficult subject of grief. 

Leni has passed away in a bike accident, which rocked her whole family, her sister Alice, younger brother Will and her parents Belinda dad Tony. They each try and come to terms with the loss in their own way.

Even though the story has sad parts, it also shows how having strong support from others helps.

It was lovely getting to know the characters’ stories and how they helped each other.

I highly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC. I loved this warm and uplifting novel about a family navigating grief. The characters are instantly likeable and I raced through it. A great easy read.
Was this review helpful?
I do love a Lucy Diamond book and this was no exception.
A difficult theme to read about which is very sad in parts but it does lend itself to the depth of the story.
Leni has a large blended family so there’s plenty of characters to keep track of but it’s easily done and tells the story of how they all come to terms with death within the family. It’s a great read.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I like the sense of family in the book. Uplifting and believable and relatable. A good read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Enjoyable story of a family finding its way back to itself after the loss of one of its own.  

We meet Leni and her family at her birthday tea and are quickly thrown into the middle of a room filled with underlying tensions . 

Even though the blurb tells us what happens next, it’s still a shock and we regroup a while after the event. We learn that following the birthday tea, relations between Leni and little sister Alice have been distant and mum Belinda has developed an overly reliant relationship with a telephone medium….
Dad Tony is floundering, not connecting with his grief, his new partner or his remaining children.

Son Will has run away to Thailand and Alice is, well, falling apart really.

What follows is a story of how the family get back to each other, rebuilding their lives as well as well as their relationships too. 

Lucy Diamond has such a light touch, dealing with grief, heartbreak, relationships and family that although the situation IS heartbreaking, I didn’t feel mired in misery, but nor is it superficial either. 

I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable story, with some lovely vignettes ‘Flying Beauties’ and plenty of heartwarming moments. 

Another winner from Lucy.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a preview copy.
Was this review helpful?
The book starts from Leni’s point of view and her birthday party – and the various niggles she has with different family members at her party.

It then cuts further forward and it’s obvious Leni has died (although it takes a while for the story of that evening to be fully explained). The book then follows Leni’s siblings and parents and how each of them deal with their unique situation and the grief / guilt / sadness that brings. It also fills out the story of the family and how it has broken down over the years – and touches on infidelity, friendship, parental desertion and many other things in between.

Sorting through Leni’s belongings make both Alice and Belinda want to investigate what their sister / daughter had been doing in the weeks before she died.

It is really interesting to see how the various intertwining relationships develop – and how Leni essentially brings her family back together again in death. The peripheral ‘step’ relatives are also explored – and you’re rooting for the entire blended family.

Some of it is incredibly moving, some quite funny – but all of it kept me wanting to read more.

This is the first book I’ve read by Lucy Diamond (it’s out in February 2023) but I would definitely read more from her in the future – and will investigate her back catalogue.

A big thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for my ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I love Lucy Diamond books and this one did not disappoint. The characters were so well written, with each persons individual journey and development always leaving me wanting more. Some characters are loveable from the start, some grow on you as you go through the story, and absolutely nobody is perfect. The different family dynamics in the book are truly relatable and I was left rooting for them all to resolve their issues together. 
An uplifting and hopeful story that I will definitely recommend to others.
Was this review helpful?
I hadn’t read any blurb about this book so wasn’t sure what to expect. I am sorry but found it a very difficult and extremely sad read. I understand that was the point and over the year from Leni dying we saw how each family member dealt with their grief but I have to say that I did not really enjoy this one.  I would have liked a bit more about Leni’s relationship with the family at the beginning and was quite shocked when all of a sudden she was dead and people were writing on the FB memorial wall. I also think a bit of humour interspersed within the story might have lightened it up for me.
The ending was good, bringing everyone together but unfortunately this book was not for me and it was not good for my mood.
Was this review helpful?
I have not read any of Lucy’s books but a fair number of my friends recommend her. So I thought I’d request this book on Netgalley.

It was written well - the characters are believable and have great depth.
The storyline will make even the hardest of you cry, as it focuses on a family and how they deal with the death of their daughter/ sister.

There are quite a few characters to keep track of as this is a blended family but none of them felt surplus to requirements. Each character deals with the death in a different way and each struggles immensely. 

My only comment would be that coupled with the memorial page messages and the numerous characters, there is quite a lot going on in this story. 

But an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Was this review helpful?