The Best Days of Our Lives

Hi Everyone! I hope youre well and have enjoyed your Saturday!

I’m writing to you on a Saturday night for a change as I’ve had a really lovely but busy day. I had a morning Starbucks with my friend, went and had my hair done, did the food shop and now I am sat here with you, so hi, hello, wherever you are in the world and whatever time it is youre reading this!

So far we’re 7 weeks into the year and I’ve read 8 books, so not bad going really! It’s starting to get pretty busy in the publishing sphere so I’ve been sent lots of lovely delicious new books to read from publishers which im going to be very happily sharing with you as we go on throughout the blog posts this spring.

One of the books I was sent first on Kindle and was then asked if I’d like to receive a physical copy, which as this author is a complete AUTO-BUY author for me I was like ‘yes please!’. When this book turned up however, I was over the moon. Normally pre-publication physical copies are proofs – that is – a mock up of what the book will look like when released but its not got the same quality of paper and its a paperback and some elements will be unfinished, it also won’t have the same cover as the actual release.

What a joy and surprise I had therefore to receive an actual HARDBACK COPY! Thank you thank you thank you Quercus Books, youre gems. So goes without saying reader, this is an AD PR copy (to make the advertising regulation people happy I have to tell you this), however my thoughts as always are my own, and free stuff doesn’t buy my integrity. I’m here to give you my honest reviews, and thats always what you’ll get!


Look how pretty this book is. The cute bike, the leaves, I think it’s one of the prettiest Lucy Diamond covers I’ve seen for a while.

Now then, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (and it’s 6 years old now can you believe!) then you will know that I love a Lucy Diamond novel, always have. I’ve been reading them since I picked up ‘One night in Italy’ in something like 2014 so we’re talking almost a decade. I have also been fortunate enough to meet this author and I was part of her previous book ‘Anything can happen’ blog tour in 2022, so you could say I’m a bit of a fan haha!

The Synopsis:

‘When 35 year old LenI McKenzie is knocked off her bike, her family’s world is turned upside down.

Leni and her sister Alice were best friends as well as siblings. But did they know each other as well as Alice thought? In the hope of coming to terms with her grief, she tries to piece together Leni’s last weeks – but her discoveries only lead to more questions. And that’s before the surprise reappearance of someone from the past. Life is certainly getting very complicated …

Meanwhile, the rest of the family seem to be falling apart. Belinda, Alice’s mum, has developed an unhealthy obsession with a clairvoyant, and Tony, her dad, is stressed about becoming a father all over again, what with three failed marriages stacking up behind him.

As for Will, the youngest McKenzie, he’s in denial, having hopped onto a plane to Thailand days after the funeral. Secretly, he’s tormented by the part he played in Leni’s death … and the thing about secrets is, they always come out eventually .

Full of hope and heartache, love and truths, Lucy Diamond’s new novel lis the big hearted story of one unforgettable year in the life of the McKenzie’s.’

There are so many glorious things I could say about this book. Firstly, there’s something about a Lucy Diamond novel that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, whilst dealing with hard topics, pulling on your heart strings, with a plethora of characters you like and there’s usually a ‘baddie’ thrown in for good measure!

In this story we follow the family of Leni, a wonderfully spirited woman who loses her life in her thirties to a RTC. The book follows their grief, loss, and it focuses on remembrance and love in all its forms.

The story takes us through each family member’s grief and struggle with the new reality. Alice becomes detective, trying to piece every jigsaw piece of Leni’s last movements together. Where was she going the night of the accident, who was she biking to see? Was Alice ever to be forgiven for their last conversation? Will completely throws his walls up and gets as far away from reality as possible, heck he goes to other side of the world and abandons all connection to the normal ‘real life’.

Belinda seeks comfort from the ‘other side’ as a way of remaining connected to her daughter and feels comforted, until it becomes addictive. Tony is struggling with death and birth – he’s lost one of his daughters and now he has a new one on the way, and he’s struggling to know what to say, what to do, who to be there for, he’s lost.

This is the story of their grief journey, their ways of coping and not coping, their trauma, their experiences and their emotional healing.


I honestly think this is one of Lucy’s best books to date and as I said, I’ve been reading them for a decade. The writing is so emotive and I couldn’t stop scribbling quotes that I just felt were so moving and perfectly written for the themes of the book. I think its got some of the most beautiful language in it that I’ve ever read in her novels.

‘Our tears say you were important to me, I remember you, I loved you.’

As someone’s who’s suffered family and friend bereavements, I could connect with a lot of what the characters were going through and I loved the way these were so delicately handled. The characters were also so carefully considered and well defined, there wasnt too many characters and whilst I couldnt see them, I could feel their emotions and understand their thoughts. They were so well written.

Yet, with all the heavy themes, Lucy as always manages to create a healing read, one that is light and warm and caring, whilst also maintaining elements of fun.

‘have you thought about planting a tree love?… it’s a lot less dramatic on the whole’.

There’s no seeing how many pages you’ve got until you’ve finished with this one, I honestly didn’t want it to end.

Just gorgeous. I loved it.

I think I really did fly a bit just then. Did you see?

Published Thursday 16th February 2023

Quercus Publishers

RRP £16.99


I’ve been drinking this at work and it lives in my work drawer so no image this week, but it’s PUKKA 3 gingers tea.

It’s so bloody nice- even my boss likes it. My lovely secret Santa (whoever they are, still a mystery!) got me a lovely set of Pukka tea this Christmas, and we’ve had quite changeable weather over the last 2 weeks and as well I’ve reduced my caffeine intake, so this tea has been such a warming and delicious gem. So easy to make too, just add hot water.

It contains ginger, galangal & golden turmeric and it’s perfect as a mid-morning or afternoon pick me up to revitalise you when you’ve already had to sit through 5 meetings which most definitely could have been an email…

Pukka Three Ginger Tea, 20 bags £4 at most supermarkets.

That’s it for this week! I’m currently reading a historical fiction book about a circus, so large change in genre for me book to book but one I’ll hopefully enjoy enough to share with you in the weeks to come.

If you’d like to stay up to date on my day to day reading habits, check out my profile on instagram @papyrusandpeppermint and you’ll find me on goodreads too 🙂

As always if you’ve enjoyed this review, all I ask of you in return is to share, like comment or follow, it all helps!

Have a great week!

Until the next chapter

Emma X0

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