For a short while, they sat together in silence while everyone else laughed and chattered around them. Then Hallie put her phone down on the table and adjusted the oxygen tubing behind her ears. ‘Anyway, make the most of every day, that’s what I’m going to do. Make more of an effort, stop worrying about what could go wrong, just go ahead and do more things, have a couple of adventures. Before it’s too late.’
(from Three Amazing Things About You)
Jill Mansell’s Three Amazing Things About You follows three women: Hallie, who has cystic fibrosis, is in need of a lung transplant, writes an online advice column, and is in love but can’t act on those feelings; Tasha, whose anxiety makes it difficult to handle the fact that her boyfriend is an adrenaline junkie; and Flo, whose job as a companion for an elderly woman leads to an unconventional living arrangement and an unlikely romance with a man whose obnoxious sister puts a damper on their happiness. When the novel opens, Hallie is on her way to the hospital with the promise of a new life, and Mansell takes readers back in time to show how these women’s lives will converge.
Three Amazing Things About You is a beautifully written tale that stays funny and lighthearted despite putting the characters into some tough situations. Hallie is an inspiring character who keeps on living regardless of the limitations of her condition. The secondary characters, as always, are fantastic — from the feisty Margot to the hilarious banter between Joe and Carmel to the pampered feline Jeremy. I don’t want to say more about the plot or the characters because I don’t want to give anything away. Mansell kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the novel, as I knew it would eventually return to the opening scene and I had no idea what was going to unfold.
Mansell has another winner with Three Amazing Things About You. In fact, of all the Mansell novels I’ve read so far, this was my favorite. (It also made my Best of 2015 list, but I am woefully behind in posting non-blog-tour reviews.) I was worried that this book would be too sad for me, but I shouldn’t have been, as Mansell manages to insert plenty of humor and liveliness into Hallie’s story. I’m still working my way through Mansell’s back list, but I’m doing it slowly so I can savor these little treasures!
Disclosure: Three Amazing Things About You is from my personal library.
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