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The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours, and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip a
Published January 10th 2019 by Avon Books UK
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 delightful stars! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Some books you read at just the right time.

Lucy is 25 years-old, and Brenda is 79. They are neighbors, and they are to become the best of friends.

Lucy is an old soul. She likes to read and knit at home. Brenda is a great friend and full of supportive advice and wisdom. Unfortunately, she is diagnosed with dementia.

Brenda has one wish, and that is to see her friend Lucy happy. She gives Lucy her locket that was integral in helping her find her own true love.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour
An uplifting and delightful story filled with magic and charm!

Some books are just good for the soul and this is definitely one of them! I am really loving this uplit trend in books... with all the madness going on in the world today it is nice to read a book that restores your faith in humanity! This is the kind of book that puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step!

Lucy Baker is 25 and prefers knitting to partying, books to boys, T to booze... she is sweet and quiet and kind and in n
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

There was an inaudible twang as one of her heartstrings was plucked.

A man of few words, and even fewer talents.

She’s got me running around like a squirrel on speed.

Adam rubs people up the wrong way and doesn’t stop rubbing until there are friction burns.

I can imagine you’ll be the sort of parent who responds to a question about death with a PowerPoint presentation depicting the various stages of decay occurring in the human body – maggots and all.

My Review:

This debut author’s wor
Sharon Metcalf
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, owned, netgalley
3.5 stars on Goodreads

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated " Life is a journey not a destination".     This addage has been applied to so many things and I'm adding Jenni Keer's novel to the list.   It not only applies to the type of story she told but it was in keeping with the theme of her debut novel The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker.   In this story the destination was the happily ever after ending she delivered but the journey was delightfully filled with twists and turns, magic, a beautif
Rating: 4.0 solid stars
What a fun ride I had while joining Lucy Baker on a sliver of her life’s journey! At 25, Lucy is a bit of a social misfit struggling with low self-esteem. She has an unlikely friendship with her free-spirited 79 year-old neighbor, Brenda. Her life is chugging along a quiet, routine path. Then a few things happen to disrupt the status quo in Lucy’s life. George moves in next door; Brenda gives Lucy an amazing locket; and Brenda starts to lose her memory.

Lucy works at a toy
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most enjoyable books I have read for some time. Very believable characters and plot. Well written with some scintillating dialogue, and masses of emotion in the story.

Well done, Jenni Keer. I look forward to many more of your books.

When I wrote this review, one thing I forgot to mention was the underlying theme of early-stage dementia. I thought it came across brilliantly. Not mawkish at all, sympathetically and wittily. Jenni mentions her own family experience with this.
I confess The Hopes of Dreams of Lucy Baker is a little lighter than my usual choice of read. However, it certainly fits the bill for those occasions when you fancy something undemanding that will give you a warm glow but is still well-written.

Lucy makes an engaging heroine who it’s easy to root for. She’s kind, thoughtful but, initially at least, inclined to underestimate herself and her abilities, and to think the best of others, even if they don’t necessarily deserve it. Because of this she’
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t sure at the beginning, but The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker turned out to be a really enjoyable read.

The eponymous Lucy is so self-effacing and under-confident at the beginning that she’d rather sit in her house all afternoon than ask the removal men who are blocking her in to move their van so she can get her car out. She’s put upon at work, where certain of her colleagues are a sexual harassment and/or sex discrimination suit waiting to happen. Much of her non-work time is spent kni
Rachel Gilbey
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An accomplished debut with some memorable characters.

I adored Lucy's friendship with her older somewhat magical neighbour Brenda. From their friendship you could tell there was a close bond and just what sort of person she is.

Scratbags the stray cat is adorable and plays a key part in the story, by helping to soften the edges of the most unlikely of people.

I enjoyed seeing the developments in Lucy as she learnt to be more confident and the story with the locket is great.

Also enjoyed seeing ju
I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

CW: Dementia

Lucy Baker is quiet and sweet, and much prefers knitting celebrity figures like Thor or Poldark than a mad night out. When a new neighbour, grumpy but gorgeous, moves in, Lucy with the help of her elderly neighbour Barbra hatch a plan to make him sweet on her. With the help of a possibly magic locket, Lucy begins to stand up for herself and find her confidence in both her work life and personal li
Karen Whittard
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Omg if there is a book that you read at the start of 2019. Please promise me that it will be this one. This is a truely beautiful book, that shows you the importance of being, helpful, kind, and generous to everyone you meet. Especially if they are in their 80’s, on their own, and have dementia. As you never realise until you know someone with this. What a blessing it is to be able to be alive and to live your best life. This book is really lovely, uplifting, sad and beautiful and I loved every ...more
Paula Sealey
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh, I just loved this charming story that follows young Lucy Baker as she attempts to become more assertive in her work and personal life. Her wonderful friendship with elderly neighbour, Brenda, was heartwarming, and I really took to the characters and enjoyed their antics. There was a lot of humour to chuckle at, which lightened up the sad topic of dementia that is covered. The dashes of magic were fun too. Overall, a wonderful, feel-good read that cheered me up on a dreary winter's day!

*I rec
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review on netgalley. I loved this book. Its warm, witty and totally uplifting.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This debut novel from Jenni Keer is a charming and engaging story that will leave you feeling warm all over. Lucy Baker is 25 years old and is a homebody who loves to knit. One of her closest friends is her 79 year old neighbor Brenda whose only wish in life is to see Lucy happy.

At the start of this book, the reader is pulled right in with the opening two sentences— “Bloody hell. There’s a cat back here.” What cat? Back where? Who is speaking and who is listening? Why bloody hell? Now what happ
Nicola Clough
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had heard about this book a lot from different authors on Facebook and really liked the feedback and wanted to read it and certainly didn't let me down and can't wait to read more by this author now. It's full of friendship, romance, families, mystery and plenty of learning how to gain your own confidence to be a better person. It's simply a fantastic read and didn't want it to end at all amazing and teaches you so much.
Lucy has lived in Lancaster road for a number of years and someone new is
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I was very excited when I saw the authors name and couldn’t wait to start her debut novel.

The story follows Lucy Baker, a 25-year-old, who prefers knitting and reading to going out. Her neighbour Brenda is 79 years old. I loved the bond and the friendship they had. Jenni Keer captured it beautifully.

Brenda’s life changes, when she is diagnosed with dementia, but she is determined to help Lucy find love. She gives her the locket tha
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, net-galley
This was a lovely read and I will be keen to look out for Jenni Keers next book.
The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker has some wonderful characters and is full of humour, great friendships and deals with the difficult subject of dementia in a very sensitive manner.
Lucy has a job with a toy company and is trying to ooze more confidence so that she can progress up the career ladder. Her neighbour Brenda provides some wonderful moments. She’s keen to see her get together with the new man who has moved
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and read it in 24 hours. It has it all - a stray cat, knitted Poldarks, a handsome main man and friendship. Little bits and bobs of the story were predictable but it was such a lovely read overall that I can overlook this. I would read more by this author in the future.
Sandie Bishop
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Lovely story which had me blubbing like a good un by the end. Loved every page. Oh, and there's a cat called Scratbag, a hunk called George and lots of knitting in the background too. 👍 ...more
Vivien Brown
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice romcom with a touch of magic. I loved the friendship between young woman and old lady which brought its rewards to both of them.
Michael Cayley
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A delightful romantic comedy. Lucy, quiet, unassuming, addicted to historical romance, finds herself unable to get her car out because hugely handsome monosyllabic George is moving in as a neighbour, the removal van blocks the way for hours, and she is too diffident to ask for it to be moved for a few minutes. The romance side of the story is predictable. We see the relationship between Lucy and George develop, aided by a stray cat (to which George is allergic), another neighbour who is an elder ...more
Julie Morris
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2019 has got off to a stellar start with the quality of the books I have read so far, and I guess it is a streak that has to end some time… but not with this book because this is a novel which has maintained the very high standard of reads with which I’ve started the year. It is a book which has wrapped me in a cashmere blanket of happiness and given me a long, warm hug, leaving me feeling tingly, moved and with a big smile on my face and a small tear in my eye. Quite a feat.

The central story in
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
All reviews can be posted on my blog at

Isn’t it funny how we automatically assume someones situation based on what things look like on the outside? As much as we all sit there and say ‘nahhhhh’ I don’t judge, we still find ourselves doing it, intentionally or not. I mean, if you spotted people like Lucy and Brenda in real life, bonding over knitting, despite having over 50 years between the two of them – would you wonder?

An unlikely friendship may be, but L
Kate A
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
This has been a perfect weekend read for me, it’s the kind of book that is light-hearted and fun but really engaging, great if you’ve been in a bit of a reading funk which I certainly was before the new year.

I like that there is a lot going on in the book, it centres around the friendship between Lucy and Brenda but you are involved with all the aspects of Lucy’s life, her relationship with her family, her work life and then, of course, the quest to use the locket to try and get neighbour George
Rhoda Baxter
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a lovely heartwarming book.

Lucy is a kind soul, if a little lacking in confidence. Her neighbour Brenda is a colourful character who may or may not be a little bit magic. When Brenda gives her a locket which urges Lucy to do some spells to help her win the new neighbour George's heart.

There were some lovely touches in this book. I especially liked the office awkward/sexist guy Adam was a really nice guy at heart, despite his clumsiness and sexist comments. The feud between Danny and Adam w
Jane Hunt
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love that there are so many stories at the moment about cross-generational friendships, which portray older people in a positive light.

'The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker' is a lovely example of this type of story featuring Lucy aged 25 and Brenda aged 79 and their strong friendship, which provides the reader with humorous, magical and poignant moments.

Brenda has lived a full often glamorous life and is still a flamboyant character. However, it's her kind nature that makes her stand out and wh
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
I absolutely LOVED this novel. The characters are well written, and intriguing enough to keep you wondering what they're going to say or do next. The story line, while a little on the slow side, allows for enough progress and forward movement to keep the readers attention through till the end. Its definetly the type of book that leaves you smiling with a tear in your eye. You'll laugh at the antics and twists of these characters lives, and cry at the heart wrenching attachment and loss that is a ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure where the mediocre or bad reviews for this gem came from as I found it so heartwarming and entertaining. Loved the dynamic between Brenda and Lucy. The office dynamics were all too real but with a nice comic edge. I stayed up late reading this and did not want to put it down.

Lots of magical realism sprinkled into this romantic comedy which worked really well. I look forward to reading more by Jenni Kerr but I have to wonder again why all recent romcom books go on and on about Ross
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely mix of knitting, friendship, a magical cat and friendship. Jenni Keer has a refreshing writing style and tells a heart- warming story about her compelling characters, Lucy and Brenda. Lucy is just lovely and deserves some romance in her life but she is too reserved to take matters into her own hands. Brenda, who is living with dementia, is a fabulous quirky older friend who sees what Lucy needs and helps things along when she gives her special locket to Lucy. To say more would reve ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to start this blog post by saying that I finally found a friendship done right, in a way that I could sympathize and empathize with in this book. The last year had quite a few such relationships, friendships between octogenarians and young reclusive women. There will be more such in the coming year also (I am sure) because of the enormous potential of codependence between them and the scope of learning that can occur. I did not find any of them that appealing in 2018 and I am glad I start ...more
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