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The Secrets of Happiness

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  3,017 ratings  ·  261 reviews

The Secrets of Happiness is an extraordinary tale of sisterhood, from Lucy Diamond author of The Beach Cafe.

The best things in life . . . can be just around the corner

Rachel and Becca aren't real sisters, or so they say. They are stepsisters, living far apart, with little in common. Rachel is the successful one: happily married with three children and a big house, plus

Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by Pan
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel and Becca are step-sisters and certain circumstances involving Rachel's ex-husband have meant they don't get along. They are opposites. Rachel seems to have made a success of her life as a mum and with her career whereas Becca just lost her job and struggles to find a good relationship.

When Rachel mysteriously disappears one night it is up to Becca to take the responsibility to look after the children until their mother returns home. It is a completely different lifestyle for Becca and a
Rachel and Becca are step-sisters. As a pair they are polar opposites, with Rachel having seemingly made a success of her life as mum and with her career. Becca on the on the other hand has struggled for any such results with failed job ventures and relationships a-plenty. Little do they both know that a near tragic event will bring the two together and force them both to take stock of their lives.

When Rachel goes missing it is up to Becca to take the responsibilty to look after the children unt
Karen Mace
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hardback, tbr
The Secrets of Happiness is reading a Lucy Diamond book!! And this one doesn't disappoint!!

Becca and Rachel are step-sisters and circumstances have meant their 'sister' bond hasn't always been the strongest, so when Rachel mysteriously disappears one night totally out of character and so Auntie Becca is called in to take care of Rachels' children until Rachel can be found. It's a completely different lifestyle for Becca who has never really settled in anyone place or job, and so she soon finds t
Dale Harcombe
A few computer problems means this is going to be a shorter review than normal.
I was interested enough in this book from the beginning. It is the story of two stepsisters who are as different as they can be, and who have virtually no time for each other. That changes when Rachel is injured in a mugging and Becca is called upon to help out and care for Rachels's two children and later, Rachel, when she comes home from hospital. Becca begins to see Rachel's life is not as perfect as she thought a
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this tale of 2 (step) sisters - totally different to each other and leading totally seperate lives who are brought together against their will. An engaging family tale with plenty of smiles and laughs. Would recommend.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Was this book predictable and slightly formulaic? Yes, sure... Did I love it anyway? Absolutely! I can't say exactly what it was, but I couldn't put this book down. This is some perfect light reading for me-time :) ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
This was my first Lucy Diamond book and I really enjoyed it. Relatable characters and situations.
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I loved this story of sisters Becca and Rachel whose lives come together to mend their broken relationship. A family drama with plenty of laughs - especially good on audio.
Haley Glover
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great feel good book.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book by Lucy diamond I have read and enjoyed. It is a story about two sisters who don’t get on and then are thrown together after one of them has an accident. It is a good family drama with a few ups and downs and happy times. Nicely written and a feel good book.
Simone Perren
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My friend and work colleague Suzanne lent me this book a while ago and having read it, I'm so glad she did because I have now found a new author I love. Going into this book I would say, you'll love it if you're looking for light-hearted chick-lit style reading with a touch of romance and family. This book doesn't pretend to be more than that and to be honest, it was a refreshing break from some of the more intense books I have read this year.
This book seems to be predominantly focused on Becca
Suze Lavender
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rachel and Becca are stepsisters. They each live their lives and aren't very close. Rachel is successful, she has a great career and a perfect family. Becca is single and she hasn't been able to find the job that's right for her yet. Rachel doesn't like Becca very much and keeps her distance. That changes when something happens and Rachel doesn't come home one night. Becca gets a call and she tries to be there for Rachel's kids as well as she can until her sister comes back. Then she discovers t ...more
Angela Free
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
First third was brilliant, then it wasn't quite so strong. Even so, it was a fun read with happy endings. I would have like to have had a better resolution to the story of Rachel and her mum though. ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
See my review on my blog now :
Emily May
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed “The Secrets of Happiness”- it’s the first Lucy Diamond book I’ve read, and it’s been such a pleasure I’ll certainly read more. It’s a smart, well-written title with depth, feeling, and heart- and a hell of a lot of humour. It’s about 480 pages yet I raced through it in two days- I remember spotting I was on page 93 when I would have sworn I was only in the 40s. The story is set in summer in Hereford- which I’ve now added to my bucket list to visit, all thanks to Diamond’s descrip ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chick-lit at its best. Perfect holiday read. Author recommended by a fellow book lover. The lead characters are likeable and parts made me laugh out loud. Looking forward to reading "One night in Italy". ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I just love Lucy Diamond’s books! Always a safe bet - happy, family saga, feel good. I usually read her books on holiday but my mum gave me this one during lockdown and it’s been a perfect little escape!
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ooh I don't know why I didn't pick this up earlier. The cover looks pretty, the plot sounded interesting - but the combination somehow made me expect something not-so-good and awfully annoying.

Well, wrong. It turned out to have a perfect storyline with a really great dosage of crisis, problems, turns, lovestory and personal development, 'antagonist' etc. Not too much or too less of everything.

Once or twice I expected unnecessary conflicts due to unnecessarily bad communication between two chara
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Don't usually listen to chic lit but quite liked this one! ...more
Rita Reece
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
2 stepsisters , one successful?? Misunderstandings that push them apart, then the realisation that they are individuals with strengths and weaknesses. No life is as it seems.. love, understanding and compassion.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Obviously this kind of book isn't an intellectually challenging type of story, but it was nice and well-written and I loved all the little misunderstandings that created all these tensions between Rachel and Becca and Rachel and Wendy. I loved seeing all of those little things being uncovered during the course of the book and uniting those two step-sisters. I enjoyed the beginning where Becca was desperately trying to find her step-sister, while dealing with her kids (whom she hadn't seen in for ...more
Rebecca McAlees
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a real feel good book. The type of book you can relax while reading because it just flows naturally and effortlessly. The book describes normal family life perfectly, it shows the ups, the downs the fights and the reunions. Most importantly the book shows how family life can change because of divorce, neglect or death. But it also shows how to cope with these changes. The characters were amazingly written as I fell in love with all of them. I loved Becca the most because I think I can re ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first Lucy Diamond book for the year and it certainly won’t be my last.

Like most of her work, this is a delightful, casual read - though casual might not be the right word, since it implies that her books don’t have wonderful characters, that her plots don’t hook you and drag you along, and that her writing isn’t full of charm (which it most definitely is). It’s more that her stories all deal with down-to-earth issues, that her characters are the same kind of people you’d run into a
Lucy Mitchell
This book was a heartfelt and engaging read.

I thought the first half was great and it was quite scary what happened to Rachel; being injured in hospital miles away from home and having no idea who is looking after your kids. When my kids were younger this was one of those nightmare situations I dreaded.

Becca is a great character and I warmed to her more than troubled Rachel. She deserves a book of her own. I liked how she got to know Rachel’s children properly and not as she said, through orga
Meg Mackay
Jun 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don’t really review books because, effort, but this book was so incredibly rubbish that I feel the need to express all my grumbling to my own GoodReads.

This book was literally just unlikable, unambitious (and kind of chavvy) characters and the telling of their incredibly uneventful, uninteresting everyday lives. I also got the idea that the author was trying and failing miserably at making this novel funny by the way she wrote the dialogue, however, P.S.A. this novel was not funny. At all.

Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full of Lucy's trademark warmth, The Secrets Of Happiness is a beautiful story about the bond between sisters, the cost of finding out about your past and the way you don't have to allow it to shape your future. Beautifully written, perfectly paced, another gem from Ms Diamond! ...more
Mrs L E Johnson
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Smiles all round

Lovely story of the importance of family, love, listening and parenting techniques. Lots of moments where you give a 'lol' and where you well up. Another beautiful story. Thank you Lucy xxx x
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, a real treat. Read my first Lucy Diamond book and can’t believe I haven’t read one of hers before.

Great story about 2 step sisters Becca and Rachel. Made me think a lot about relationships and family.
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Enjoyable read with an intriguing start that unfolds to tell the story of two very different (half) sisters and how their individual difficulties shape their lives as they are thrust together through circumstance.
Suzanne Maughan
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
It took a while to get going, but was lovely.
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Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name

First of all, a confession. My name isn’t really Lucy Diamond at all, it’s Sue Mongredien. I’ve used a pen name because ‘Diamond’ is a lot easier to spell and pronounce than ‘Mongredien’ and also because I’ve written lots of children’s books too and wanted to keep the genres separate. (There is actually another Lu

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