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Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,008 ratings  ·  266 reviews
A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves.

"I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out!"

When S
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Doubleday Books
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,008 ratings  ·  266 reviews

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This had all the hallmarks of something I'd love: female friendship, life after 60, living abroad, reinvention, Fiji. But, man, I did not enjoy this at all.
I realize a lot of my problems come from cultural differences; I'm entrenched in American thoughts and know little to nothing of Norwegian ways of thinking. That doesn't make me feel any less critical, though.

It started out ok with the introduction of some trite characters: Five Norwegian friends from high school - Kat, the bold, adventurous
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a beachy read of five women from Norway who take their sixth friend up on her offer to join her on her cocoa plantation in Fiji following the death of her husband. Each woman has her own challenges and is looking for a change. It was nice to see women in a post-family role, focusing on self and letting loose a bit. The chapters change point of view between women but also alternate with the prayers of the woman working for Kat, ending with "Emeni." While there is some interaction with the ...more
Sherwood Smith
Jul 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: fiction
A rare book featuring old women--in fact, they are all exactly my age. One of them has settled on a cocoa farm in Fiji, and invites her high school besties to dare to drop everything and join her. One's divorced, one was never married, another still married but we find out what kind of marriage it's been; and one has Alzheimer's, something I ordinarily do not want to read about in fiction (cancer is another fictional turnoff for me) but it was so beautifully handled here I read on with scarcely ...more
A lovely story of the long-standing friendship between five elderly women from Norway. Six years ago, Katrine Vale and her husband Niklas bought a cocoa plantation in Fiji but Niklas has recently passed away and Kat invites her four old high school friends to come join her in Fiji, offering each a chance to reinvent their lives in the beautiful island setting--and all four take her up on the offer.

"Five fingers on a hand, five women in a house."

There's Sina Guttormsen, a single mother who has a
Janet Robel
This takes place in Fiji with an older group of women. They all have their own secrets and decide to give it a go at making chocolate. There's a slower pace here but fits the setting. At times, this was like an emotional rollercoaster for me. The chapters changed to each woman's viewpoint, and the way it's written, I could feel what each one was going through. Definitely tugs at your heartstrings but also shows the bonding and friendship in a lush backdrop. Of course, any book that mentions choc ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
A very interesting read about women in later years, 4 of which relocate to a plantation in Fiji to live with the fifth woman. It tells of their health, finance, love, family and loneliness issues. It also tells of being able to fit in, or not, and what future plans each of the women have. In addition, a native Fiji housekeeper brings insight to each of the women, as the group decides to start a chocolate business.

This story has beautiful prose and the novel paints gorgeous landscape pictures in
It starts with a letter postmarked with stamps with pictures of iguanas and flowers. One woman on Fiji sends four women in Norway an invitation. I want you here with me. Come live on my cocoa farm with me. Let’s live the rest of our lives together. And if it doesn’t work out for you, I will give you a ticket back to Norway.

Five women, five fingers on a hand, five legs on a starfish, living together.

The five women are Kat, Ingrid, Maya, Lisbeth and Sina. All went to high school together. All are
El libro está bien pero creo que al final pincha... vamos leyendo la historia según el punto de vista de las cinco protagonistas (y la asistenta, que para mí lo de ella sobra) pero el último capítulo de Kat para mí no ha terminado de tener sentido y de cerrar su historia como si pasa con las demás.
Es cierto que recuerda al hotel mary gold, por la edad de las protagonistas y por querer empezar una nueva vida en esos momentos.
Si no hubiera sido por ese capítulo final me habría gustado más, estoy s
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc
Adventurous Kat is recently widowed and, though her life in Fiji is solid and settled, she wants to feel surrounded by family---or at least "family"---again. She decides to invite four of her old high school friends, all now in their sixties, to live with her on her island cocoa farm. It's a crazy idea, but all four women go for it. Lost and burdened Sina, quiet Ingrid, bored Lisbeth, and troubled Maya all join Kat for, what they hope to be, a life-changing adventure.

 *   *   *   *   *  

I don't
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heerlijk boek! Supermooi geschreven en echt zo’n verhaal waar je je eindeloos door wilt laten meevoeren. De POV’s zijn erg sterk en ik vond het heel tof om de vrouwen, hun geheimen en geschiedenissen te ontdekken. Deed denken aan De vijfde brief van Nicola Moriarty. Genoten! Uitgebreide recensie volgt.
Kate Olson
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Doubleday for providing me with a finished copy of this book for review - all opinions are my own.

PIECES OF HAPPINESS is a gorgeous novel of a fresh start for a group of Norwegian women in their late 60s as they come together again on a cocoa farm in Fiji. The descriptions and settings are incredibly lush and I was captivated by the Fijian culture depicted in the book. The stories of Sina, Lisbeth, Ingrid, Maya, and Kat are achingly realistic and wistful as the women figure out how
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
It’s not just her feet that are experiencing a new spring in Fiji. Her thoughts, her shoulders, her smile- Ingrid can feel everything becoming looser and smoother.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth take up the challenge to live with Kat on her cocoa farm in Fiji! Make chocolate in paradise, feel young and free again, shuck the old weight of their frigid lives and live out what time remains together, once again a sisterhood. Kat was always the one they all
Bonnye Reed
GNab I received an electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Anne Ostby, and Doubleday in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for sharing your hard work with me.

Anne Ostby sets up this novel in the way of many - looking back from middle age to the five or six people who were friends in high school. That is the last of the ordinary in this tale. Their high school is in Norway, at the top of the world. Kat was, then as now, the centering force of the group. She drops all previous life pl
Title: Pieces of Happiness
Author: Anne Ostby
Publisher: Doubleday
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Pieces of Happiness" by Anne Ostby

My Thoughts ...

This author really give the readers quite one interesting read..."Piece of Happiness." I thought is was really one good read having these six people, five that had been friends since high school in Norway come visit and then live together [after the death of her Niklas, her husband] on a cocoa plantation in Fiji in the South Pacific with ea
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reads! These women are my age, and that makes it quite intriguing for me, and to reunite a group from high school to live together in an exotic tropical locale. What an adventure!!
Il confine dei libri
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letti
Salve a tutti.
Anche se il periodo non è proprio quello giusto, oggi voglio parlarvi dell'estate e di un libro che contiene il calore di quella stagione. È vero, c'è chi preferisce l'inverno, ma io sono un'inguaribile romantica e amo anche la stagione dei fiori e delle vacanze.
Per chi ha un po' di nostalgia, ora che siamo ormai in inverno, non posso che consigliare di leggere "Frammenti di felicità" di Anne Øtsby, edito da Garzanti.
Se dovessi usare solo tre aggettivi per descriverlo, potrei dir
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Als ich das erste Mal vom neugegründeten Wunderraum Verlag gehört habe, wurde ich direkt neugierig und habe mir die ersten Neuerscheinungen angeschaut. Hierbei hat mich besonders "Zartbitter ist das Glück" angesprochen und ich habe mich auf eine interessante und unterhaltsame Geschichte gefreut, die ich auch letztendlich bekommen habe.

Der Schreibstil ist sehr angenehm. Man fliegt nur so durch die Seiten, die Geschichte liest sich durchweg flüssig und unterhaltsam und an so mancher Stelle hat mic
Jo Ann
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I almost want to frame the cover of this's gorgeous...tropical flowers and fauna, turtles, seashells, cocoa beans, chocolate. And all of those, plus a change in life and friendships, lures 4 Norwegian women to the island of Fiji, where their friend and "leader," from high school, now lives. Kat has invited her 4 friends to come live with her after the death of her husband, and we are invited into the lives of these 5 60+ women who have raised families, sought or formed relationships an ...more
Ari Zapata
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book as a giveaway winner. Such a sweet read about friendship. Loved the characters! ❤ ...more
Rachel Gilbey
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The incredibly beautiful cover is probably first drew this book to me, without it, I would have probably passed it by which would have been a huge shame. The next thing that drew me in was the mention of the South Pacific, an area of the world that conjures up the feeling of being incredibly exotic, and I just couldn't resist knowing more.

Having never read anything set in Fiji, and for that matter Norway, were the characters originate from, this story was a complete surprise to me, and its cert
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
""I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out!"

For Sina, Lisbeth, Ingrid, and Maya the invitation to Kat's cocoa farm couldn't have come at a better time. To leave all of their worries, mistakes, and problems back in Norway! Kat, their best friend, the adventurer who left them behind right after high school graduation all of those years ago. Yes, it would be lovely to leave everything be
Something about this book set my teeth on edge. It could have been, but is not limited to, the native Fijian lady who converses with god, where most of her prayers are for these poor souls from Norway who are so good but so sad. Aargh. Oh, she does have the obligatory prayer for her good unemployed son, but a disproportionate amount of her perspective is spent on these ladies. And there's a girl called Maraia, Star of the Sea, who floats in and out of their lives and the house arbitrarily - she' ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One thing that really attracted me to this story, was that it was about a group of old time friends, who are my age, but age does not really matter to make it an interesting and relevant story.
This is a story about re-connections, about feeling useful and wanted, about finding out that life is still something that can be changed, and enjoyed.
Best friends Kat, Ingrid, Sina, Lisbeth and Maya, were school friends many years ago, in Norway but had not really seen each other in a long time. Now in th
Rhonda Lomazow
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful novel.A group of women best friends in high school now in their 60s,are sent a letter by one of this group Kat to come join her on her farm in Fiji.Kat has recently lost her life companion &is advised by her housekeeper a dear friend to bring family to surrond her.
As the women arrive each with her own life story as secrets unfold as they adjust to life in Fiji each story will engage you some will shock&oh yes they get involved with farming chocolate.
A perfect book to share wi
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Goodreads blurb is spot on for this one: "A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves." I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and getting to know each of the women. The book is warm and hopeful, full of understanding and forgiveness. And the setting is marvelous; I loved the glimpse of Fiji's physical beauty and culture.

Thanks to the
Galena Sanz
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Esta es, ciertamente, una lectura inusual para mí, pero cuando leí la nota de prensa tuve una corazonada y puesto que aunque es estilo es muy diferente, la sinopsis me llama, decidí leerlo.
Puedo decir que ha sido un gran acierto, ha resultado ser una lectura de lo más interesante para mí y me ha gustado que estuviese fuera de mi zona de confort. La mayoría de lo que leo es juvenil o romántica y todos sabemos que sus protagonistas prácticamente son personas mayores o ancianas.
Que las protagonista
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
An inspiring tale about the importance of friendship.

Kat and her husband Niklas spent their life traveling and helping less fortunate people. When it came time for them to retire, they decided to buy a cocoa farm in Fiji. But before they could really do anything with it, Niklas passed away. At the suggestion of her housekeeper, Ateca, Kat invites her old school friends to spend the remainder of their golden years with her. Together they start their own chocolate company while getting reacquainte
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fiction

Kat lives in Fiji on a cocoa plantation. Following the death of her husband, she invites (via some beautiful letters) her old friends to come live with her and just see what happens. Each woman has her own chapters and point of view, and each woman has her own joys and challenges that she brings to the island.

I have not seen many view that focus on women over 60 - they are side characters much more often (if they are in the story at all). But life does go on, and I thought the concerns and the
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-frauen
Als Sina einen Brief von Kat erhält, haben die Frauen einander seit über 40 Jahren nicht mehr gesehen. Katrin Vale ist damals mit Niklas einfach durch die Welt gezogen, hat hier mal ein Projekt geleitet, mal dort eins. Hängengeblieben sind sie und Niklas auf Fidschi, um dort eine Kakaobohnen-Plantage zu betreiben. Nun ist Niklas tot und Kat will noch einmal einen Traum verwirklichen – eine eigene Schokoladenproduktion. Sina, Ingrid, Lisbeth, Maya, unterschiedlicher können Frauen nicht sein. Sina ...more
Diane Perry
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I took a journey to Fiji and met some wonderful ladies. First, it was nice to see a book feature women in their sixties, and dealing with various issues at this stage of life. I loved each character. Long-time friends and personalities vastly different. Very enjoyable and I want to try their chocolate.
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Anne Østby is a Norwegian author and journalist. She has written books for children, teenagers, and adults. Pieces of Happiness is her first title to be published in the United States, and is translated by one of her three daughters, Marie. She presently resides with her husband in East Timor, having lived in Denmark, Malaysia, Pakistan, Kazakstan, USA, Iran, and Fiji over the last twenty-five yea ...more
“Vanua is the land and you and your clan belong to, but it's more than that. It's the people who live there now and those who have lived there before. It's the traditions they've had and the songs they've sung. What they believed in and what they loved, the togetherness and the memories. The joy over babies who are born and the grief over those who have died.” 1 likes
“a team project fosters not only unity but a new kind of happiness? In rediscovering oneself by mastering new things unexpectedly” 0 likes
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