Book Review

September '17

Pieces of Happiness (Hardcover)
Anne Ostby

Sometimes you need a book that is reasonably well written, and primarily entertaining.  A book you can read that will take your mind off the world, to escape.  A book that does not require you to think too hard, and allows you to fall asleep peacefully.

A am so happy to recommend Pieces of Happiness, a debut novel which was published August 1, 2017.  The author, Anne Ostby, has done a wonderful job of storytelling, and I hope she is at work on her next book.

The setting for Pieces of Happiness is the tropical island of Fiji.  Main character Kat, recently widowed, lives on a cocoa farm, alone except for her daily housekeeper and plantation manager.  After previous travels around the world, Kat plans to live out her life on Fiji.  Pondering her future, she decides to write letters to her four high school best friends, inviting them to live with her in her spacious home on the beautiful island.  Kat has plenty of room for them, they can hang out and act like teenagers again.  Relax in the warm humidity, walk on the beach, eat the native food and not worry about anything. Money is not really a problem, as life on Fiji is cheap, and surely these friends can afford plane fare to the South Pacific and will jump at the chance to move in with her. (which they do!)

What follows is a lovely story, about women of a certain age reconnecting, and renewing friendships.  Of kindly accomodating and supporting each other's eccentricities, strengths, and weaknesses.  Of working together to create a new business for Kat's farm, the production and sale of luxury, high end, good for you dark chocolate. (yes, you will crave it while reading.)

Kat's housekeeper, Ateca, a wonderful character, intersperses her own observations about "the madams" of Kat's house, often in the form or prayers for them and her own son.  Other local characters add richness to the story.  Everything is not perfect in Kat's world, though reading Pieces of Happiness will make you wish you were one of the friends who received an invitation to Fiji!