Anne Ostby * Doubleday Books * August 1, 2017 * 320 Pages
Adventurous Kat is recently widowed and, though her life in Fiji is solid and settled, she wants to feel surrounded by family—or at least “family”—again. She decides to invite four of her old high school friends, all now in their sixties, to live with her on her island cocoa farm. It’s a crazy idea, but all four women go for it. Lost and burdened Sina, quiet Ingrid, bored Lisbeth, and troubled Maya all join Kat for, what they hope to be, a life-changing adventure.
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I don’t know what it is with me lately, but I just haven’t been in the mood to tackle these end-of-life-looking-back novels. At thirty-something, I’m younger than the women in this story by over thirty years, but it just depresses me to think that this is my future: dead husbands, cheating husbands, deadbeat kids, disease, loneliness, and a sad, sad slog toward total disintegration. I know I’m supposed to feel happy that these women are there for each other, supporting one another during rough times—and I am—but God it strikes me as so, so depressing.
Still, there are some things about the book I enjoyed. I love the island setting. The descriptions of Fiji are so detailed and realistic. It was easy to imagine being there. I also like how the story is told from the different perspectives of each woman. There is a lot of variety and personality between them. And Ateca, Kat’s housekeeper, is a nice addition to the cast. I could tell author Ostby really put thought and time into developing these characters and their backstories.
But in the end…meh. I mean, yes, Pieces of Happiness is a solid book with interesting characters and a good story, and I think certain readers will love it. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Amazon Vine.