Book Review: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy BakerAbout the Book

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours, and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.  79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away forever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

Format: ebook (309 pp.)    Publisher: Avon Books UK
Published: 10th January 2019        Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Pre-order/Purchase Links*  ǀ  Kobo ǀ (supporting UK bookshops)
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Find The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker on Goodreads

My Review

I confess The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker is a little lighter than my usual choice of reading.  However, it certainly fits the bill for those occasions when you fancy something undemanding (in a good way) but still well-written and that will leave you with a warm glow.

Lucy makes an engaging heroine who it’s easy to root for.  She’s kind, thoughtful but, initially at least, inclined to underestimate herself and her abilities, and to think the best of others, even when they don’t necessarily deserve it.  Because of this, she’s a little easily manipulated and only gradually learns to assert herself and listen to those who genuinely have her best interests at heart.   Chief among these is her elderly neighbour Brenda who, having been a great support to Lucy in the past, now finds it is her turn to need help.  Brenda always knew she could count on Lucy but finds she has another more unlikely source of assistance as well.

In the scenes set in Lucy’s workplace (Tompkins Toy Workshop), the author captures the atmosphere of office life with its banter, gossip and cast of familiar characters: the practical joker, the mother figure and the Jack-the-Lad with his non-PC comments (who perhaps has hidden depths).    Okay, there are no real surprises and it didn’t take a genius to work out the way things were heading when Lucy and her best friend, Jess, undertake to win over Lucy’s new next door neighbour, George.

Nevertheless The Hopes of Dreams of Lucy Baker is a heart-warming story about the nature of true friendship, finding the courage to fulfil your dreams and how the path of true love sometimes needs a little help from forces you can’t explain.   If you don’t find yourself giving a little contented sigh of satisfaction on closing the book, I’ll be surprised.  And, if at the end, you have no desire to own a hand-knitted Poldark, then you’re probably beyond my help.

I received an advance review copy courtesy of Elke at Avon Books UK, and NetGalley.

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In three words: Charming, tender, feel-good

Try something similar…The Secrets of Primrose Square by Claudia Carroll (read my review here)

jennikeerAbout the Author

After gaining a history degree, Jenni Keer embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her husband, an antique-restorer. She valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house, it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with #blindcat Seymour by her side.  She adores any excuse for fancy dress, and is part of a disco formation dance team.  The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker is her debut. (Photo credit: Goodreads author page)

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What’s In A Name Challenge 2019: Sign-Up


The What’s In A Name Challenge is being hosted for 2019 by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook.  Andrea has taken over from Charlie at The Worm Hole who hosted previous years’ challenges.  You can find out how I got on with the challenge in 2018 here.

The challenge runs from January to December 2019. During this time you must read a book that fits each of the following categories. I’ve made some provisional selections below (trying to pick from my TBR pile where possible). The link from the title will take you to the book’s entry on Goodreads.  Once I’ve read them, I’ll replace this with a link to my review.

It’s a really fun challenge, so why not sign up to take part yourself?

A precious stone/metal                            Still looking!

A temperature                                            Cold, Cold Heart by Christine  Poulson

A month or day of the week                   The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin

A meal                                                           A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Contains the word ‘girl’ or ‘woman’    The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

Contains the words ‘of’ AND ‘and’       The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer