I am a sucker for a hard done by book. It’s one of (many) reasons why our house is filled with books – I rescue them from charity shops, adopt them from boxes outside houses (seriously, a house round the corner from us sometimes leaves books outside with a sign saying free) and liberate them from library sale shelves.
That’s where I found my somewhat battered copy of One Small Act of Kindness. I haven’t read a lot of Lucy Dillon books, which is a bit bizarre quite frankly, given how much I enjoyed A Hundred Pieces of Me. (review here) It was because of how much I enjoyed it that I picked this one up, and unusually, started reading it within a couple of days of acquisition, and even more unusually, I’m reviewing it the same day I’ve finished reading it.
You’re bewildered aren’t you? Not nearly as much as I am.
That’s partly because when I posted up on my new book club facebook page (you’ve not seen it? over here…. I share my bookstagram pics and facebook book related giveaways I’ve found, as well as book related posts from here ) that I’d just finished reading it Candi from Oftencalledcathy pointed out it being in the sale. So I thought that getting a review live quickly might mean a few more people would find it while it was cheap.
I daresay it may well be shelved as a romance novel – there’s romance as a thread running through it. But there’s also a much stronger thread of self discovery, identity, friendship and growth. And of course dogs. It wouldn’t be a Lucy Dillon book without dogs really, would it? The most interesting people in it for me are the two main female characters – Libby who has just moved to Longhampton from London to help do up and run her mother in law’s hotel, and the mystery woman she names Pippa who she discovers knocked down in the road outside the hotel. That’s a good starting point for any novel I’d have thought, and this doesn’t disappoint at all. A growing friendship, a couple of relationship mysteries to solve, and a family in dire need of therapy are all untangled gradually over the course of the book, and while I wouldn’t say I couldn’t put it down, I would point out I read it over two guitar school sessions on consecutive days and then finished it at my earliest opportunity the next morning.
Which is pretty close to couldn’t put down, it’s just I have this complicated thing called a family to manage as well.
I also love the centre idea of an act of kindness wall where people leave post its with kindnesses they’ve done. If you’ve any acts of kindness you’d like to bob in the comments I’d love to hear them 🙂 Or if you’ve any great book recommendations to share, I think I might finally be in a reading mood again!