Every so often it's nice to read a good old 'happily ever after' story to escape the realities of every day living. After all, isn't that what fiction is all about? Escaping to another world for a period of time, absorbing yourself totally in the lives of the characters only coming up for air when meal times/toilet breaks/journey's end beckons. Niamh Greene's new novel Coco's Secret is exactly that- a feel good escapist happy-ever-after story that wraps all the loose ends neatly leaving every character pleased with their outcome.
Coco, named after her mother's heroine Coco Chanel, is thirty-something, awkward, un-stylish and living with her grandmother after her boyfriend left to move to New Zealand. In fact she is everything that does not come to mind when you think of the name 'Coco'. After losing her mother as a young teenager, never having known her father, she has grown up with her loving grandmother Ruth and her best friend Cat. Working in the family antiques shop, she is a home bird, satisfied living in a provincial town and attending auctions to add to the shop stock. It is at one of these auctions that she unwittingly makes a purchase that is to change her life. Encouraged by her family and friends to follow her instincts, it is a find that takes her out of her comfort zone and allows her to 'find herself', climaxing in a truly moving end.
Due for publishing on the 15th August, Coco's Secret is Niamh Greene's sixth novel and it is really a great story. A little of everything can be found in here - parents with teenager problems, OAP's experiencing new found love, long kept secrets finally coming into the open plus a good dollop of good humour. Smiling quietly to myself as I read the last few pages on the Dart I was almost tempted to hand it to the lady sitting across from me. Because that's the kind of book it is, one that makes you feel good and that anyone would enjoy reading. As it turned out I brought it home but handed it straight to someone as I came in the door, "read this, you'll like it" I said confidently.
Coco's Secret is published by Penguin Ireland on 15th August. http://www.penguin.ie/