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Death and other Happy Endings

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,146 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Jennifer Cole has just been told that she has a terminal blood disease. She has three months to live -- ninety days to say goodbye to friends and family and put her affairs in order. Trying to focus on the positives (at least she’ll never lose her teeth) Jennifer realises she has one overriding regret: the words she’s left unsaid.
Rather than pursuing a frantic bucket lis
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 13th 2019 by Bantam Press
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,146 ratings  ·  252 reviews


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Paromjit
Melanie Cantor's piece of contemporary fiction explores one woman's response to receiving the news that she has but three months to live. To be honest, it took me quite a while to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. Divorced 43 year old Jennifer Cole, an HR professional, is at the doctor's surgery, when Dr Mackenzie's gives her the shocking news that her blood tests show she has a rare blood disease, it's too late for treatment, with only palliative care an option. It takes ...more
Debra
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Jennifer Cole has been told some bad news - some VERY bad news. She has been diagnosed with a terminal rare blood disorder and she has three months to live. Shocked and confused, with only ninety days to live she decides to write letters to important people in her life- her ex-husband, an ex-boyfriend, her sister, and an ex-friend. She is going to be honest with them about her diagnosis and how she feels about her relationship with them - or her past relationship with them and how she felt about ...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must have been swayed by the title of this book months ago when I chose to download this advance reader copy, for the cover is certainly lacking! When I would peruse my outstanding arcs to read/review and encounter this book cover, it only served to push me away... not doing justice to the gem buried within. I am drawn to melancholy and emotional subject matter, but as the book's title (an oxymoron if there ever was one) suggests, there is hope for a "glass half-full" perspective to inspire th ...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
Now published in paperback!

In light of the current global pandemic Melanie has recently decided to change the title of this book from ‘Death and Other Happy Endings’ to ‘Life and Other Happy Endings’.

The following is a note from Melanie further explaining why:


A few years ago, when I sat down to write the story of a young woman confronted by her own mortality, I could never have imagined that in 2020 we would all be facing the same.

Even when it was first published in June 2019, Death & Other H
...more
Obsidian
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Wow. This book ended up not working for me at all. Probably because the initial premise (Jennifer Cole) being diagnosed with an incurable condition giving her months to live didn't really get focused on too much. Instead we focused on Jennifer writing letters to her ex-husband, her ex's current wife, her ex-lover, her ex-childhood friend, and her sister. Yeah these are all people that Jennifer had or has
...more
Elaine
May 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a Kindle ARC of Death and Other Happy Endings.

Jennifer Cole is a middle-aged woman who has just been given three months to live.

As a result, she decides to write letters to a few people who have wronged her, including her brat of a sister, her dick of an ex, and her selfish boyfriend.

Naturally, when you realize you only live once, Jennifer finds herself acting out of character, causing a typical landslide of chick-lit events, which all come crashing
...more
Eva
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Something somewhat different on my blog today. Far removed from all the crime fiction and psychological thrillers I tend to read, it was the book description for Death and Other Happy Endings that immediately appealed to me. Who doesn’t just want to let go and really tell people what you think of them?

Jennifer Cole is told she has an incurable disease and only has three months left to live. What would you do? Pull out a bucket list and cram as much as you can into those ninety days you have left
...more
Melissa
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There have been a lot of books lately about lead characters learning they don't have a lot of time left on Earth. Most of them are sad stories where the characters have to say goodbye to their loved ones and make bucket lists. Then there's Death and Other Happy Endings, in which the lead character tells off the people who have made her miserable in some way or another. I found this to be an interesting premise and I was less hesitant to pick it up for this reason.

I enjoyed this novel the whole
...more
Jypsy
Death and Other Happy Endings is the kind of story you hope never happens to you. Jennifer is forty something and just been told she has three months to live. She chooses to use this time writing letters to three people who are or were important in her life and with whom she's left things unsaid. The three people are her sister, ex-husband and ex-boyfriend. Jennifer writes for closure. She's dying, so she might as well say whatever she wants. It won't matter in three months anyway, right? I foun ...more
Olga Gamer
Mar 07, 2019 marked it as gave-up-on  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelved-2019
I didn’t finish this book because I wasn’t interested in the character and the plot line. It’s about a forty-something woman diagnosed with terminal cancer and has about three months left to live. Prior to dying, she decides to write three letters airing her grievances. To Elizabeth and Andy, her ex-husband; Harry, an ex-boyfriend; and Isabelle, her sister. I gave it about a hundred pages and didn’t feel invested enough to continue.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Viking Books for the advanced read
...more
Ruthy lavin
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant read!
A story which perfectly combines a serious situation with deadpan British wit and a very likeable main character - it’s a winner.
For fans of Eleanor Oliphant and Fleabag, I can easily see this being adapted for TV, women of a certain age everywhere will love it 😊
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
3.5 stars rounded up
This is a light, sweet novel with a great deal to say about living life on your own terms, not what everyone expects from you or bound by fear and insecurity.
I really appreciated Jennifer's journey when she is told that she has three months to live. She made some surprising choices, but overall they make for an engaging story that kept me turning pages to discover what would happen next.
In a way, I felt like I came into this book in the middle of a story--Jen has all sorts o
...more
The Lit Bitch
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes persistence pays off. This book was pitched to me at least four times for review and each time I passed. Not because I didn’t want to read it, I just didn’t think I could fit it in anywhere close to the review date.

It wasn’t until the book physically arrived at my house that I took some real stock of my review calendar to see if I could accommodate this book. The publicist for this book raved about it with such passion that I felt compelled to work it in. I hate missing out on great bo
...more
Alison
Three and a half stars.

Jennifer Cole is a single middle-aged woman with a middle-management job in HR when her GP gives her the devastating news that she has a rare incurable blood disorder and only three months to live. The news causes Jennifer to do some thinking about past relationships and family ties culminating in her writing three letters: one to her ex-husband,; one to the love of her life; and one to her sister explaining all the things she never had the courage to say before.

At first j
...more
Gail M
Aug 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A potentially interesting premise, totally predictable outcome. I'm a little embarrassed I read it.
Robyn
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death and other Happy Endings
by Melanie Cantor

Well, the premise of the book is fairly predictable, and of course, I thought that she would (recover, have gotten a bad diagnosis) something like that.. but when she started getting sick, I actually started to wonder.

Unlike some other reviewers, I was glad that the book didn't focus on her illness, after all, if I got a firm, "you are going to die" there is really no reason to keep on repeating that fact or why... it really is about what and how yo
...more
Laura McToal
May 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer is informed by her doctor that she is dying. She has a rare blood illness and now has three months tops to live. She is shocked because she's just been feeling a bit tired. She writes three letters to the people she feels most aggrieved by in her life and then has to deal with the consequences of those letters.

While writing this review, I am finding it very difficult to find much to say that is positive. I appreciate that a lot of work and effort goes into producing a book and it's neve
...more
Steph  Williams
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I quite enjoyed the book. Some of it was a bit predictable, but the writing was good. It was quite amusing in parts. Will keep an eye out for her next book.
Adriana
3.5 stars

Such a strange read. Something that happened in the beginning that I couldn't understand why it happened connected with the ending. I did like how the main character confronted those people in her life that wronged her in some way but a bit of showing her own flaws would have been nice too. I guess that's what was tried with her former friend Emily but it didn't conclude well.
Clair Sharpe
At just 43 years old, Jennifer Cole has just been told that she has a rare and terminal blood disease. She has just three months to live - ninety days to say goodbye to friends and family and put her affairs in order. Trying to focus on the positives Jennifer realises she has one overriding regret: the words she’s left unsaid.
Rather than pursuing a bucket list, she chooses instead to write letters to three significant people in her life who have hurt her in some way: her overbearing, selfish old
...more
Natalie Nakayama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shruti Ramanujam
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks so much for the review copy, Transworld!

Jennifer Cole is a 43-year-old divorced HR professional who’s told she has a rare blood disorder and only 90 days left to live. Needless to say, Jennifer is shocked. She went in with tiredness and was diagnosed with a ghastly “-osis”.

Discovering she only has 3 months of life left, having no bucket list to tick items off of, instead, she decides to confront three people. She writes them each a letter detailing all the things she wished she’d said to
...more
Iliana
Jennifer is sitting at her doctor’s office and he’s just told her she has a rare blood disorder which is aggressive and untreatable. She was completely unprepared for the news given that she is only 43 years old and was only just feeling bloated and tired. Surely it could be some other diagnosis but there it is, she now has three months left to live.

Stunned, she leaves the doctors office and rather than thinking of a bucket list of things she needs to do before the end, she decides to instead wr
...more
Donna Hines
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
When faced with a last dying wish what would you choose?
If you knew you had a few months to live how would you fulfill those last days?
Could clarification of life ever be more evident then when facing your maker?
Well I'll tell you this one had me looking forward not back with regret as Jenn was a strong heroine who did it "her way."
Rather than run she stayed and death with the tragedy by writing letters?!
Yes, why not! To everyone who she had crossed paths with including her sister, ex husband, a
...more
Jenna
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/4 stars

this is a tough one to rate for me. I'm on the fence. it's different. so i'll just begin.

Ok, so the protagonist is given a terminal diagnosis. what do you do w/your time left?
do you do your bucket list, carry on normally? do you let everyone know how you really feel & say "F it!" that's what our protagonist does. she writes letters to people.

so first, no matter who your doctor is, you get a 2nd opinion!!!
and the people surrounding Jennifer were terrible. they were unlikable characters
...more
Monica
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. So relateable! Who wouldn't choose to tell someone what they really think if their days were numbered. Loved her courage in both part 1 and part 2 to take charge of her life. Nice doses of humor as well. Really well rounded. One of the most enjoyable books I've read in a while.
Kelly
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the ending - not too coyling sweet but just the right amount of warm fuzziness so you can write your own happily ever after for the characters.
Adele
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very clever and fun debut novel with a charming ending--hope to see more from this London author.
António Coelho
An interesting story, that makes you think about life and appreciate it more!
However, an ordinary story which loses its interest throughout the book. I think the ending was a little too obvious.
Julie Steele
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried in the first part of this book, glad it had a happy ending
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