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Dear Lily

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,091 ratings  ·  154 reviews
Dear Lily,

It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.

On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…

I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harvi
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published May 17th 2019 by Bookouture (first published February 20th 2019)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,091 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Nat K

What is it about writing that allows people to truly bare their soul. To speak from the heart. To be so intimate and bare. This thought really struck me while reading this gem of a book.

Joy moves to Denmark to “escape” from her life in London. Through a series of letters to her sister Lily, we found out why.

”P.S. Great, we’re back to another whiny, tear-stained, million-paged letter – you’re welcome. P.P.S. And the weather here is worse than London. It’s colder, wetter, greyer…”

There is so much
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Dear Lily is an absolute delight to read! I picked it up expecting a funny rom com type of book but it has so much more depth. This book took me through such a wide array of emotions- I was laughing one minute and practically crying the next.

Joy decides to suddenly up and move to Denmark from London. In her mid 30's she is leaving behind her family and her long time boyfriend. We gradually learn more and more of Joy's life through the letters she writes to her sister Lily. . In fact Joy is so da
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free e-copy of Dear Lily by Drew Davies from NetGalley for my honest review.

This is a beautiful and sweet book that is told through composed letters. The letters are written between two sisters, Joy & Lily. We learn all about their struggles, family and life. A beautiful, enjoyable, funny yet emotional read. You will laugh and you will cry but what a wonderful read.

May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Every once in awhile I stumble across a book that is like a breathe of fresh air, and that was the case with this gem. It was beautifully unique and extremely touching and way more emotional that I was expecting, I just adored it!

The entire story is told via letters from Joy to her sister Lily and I really enjoyed the intimacy this structure provided. At the start Joy leaves her whole life back in England to take a new job in Denmark, it’s clear she’s looking for a fresh start after some big cha
Robin Loves Reading
Oh what a touching story. The way it begins is that Joy is writing to her younger sister Lily. The book consists of thirty-three letters from Joy to Lily. As each letter is composed, Joy relates her life's experiences to Lily.

Joy has left her home in the UK and has moved to Denmark to take on a new job. She has completely uprooted her life, and in so doing, hopes to find happiness again and might even see if she can find a someone to share her life with.

As we read the letters, it is sad to see s
Ruth Parker
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Writing letters allows you to be frank, to be honest, to be as raw as you feel you need to be. Joy takes advantage of the faceless mode of communication as she writes to her sister Lily, telling her all about her life after a big move to a foreign country to escape the trials and the hardships of her London life.

We follow Joy through a series of honest and incredibly candid letters to Lily (sometimes a bit too much information - I know I wouldn't share some of these things with my sister, even i
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
3.5 rounded up. Epistolary novels can be hard to pull off, but this one does a pretty nice job of character development through a series of approximately 30 very long letters. It's heartbreaking at times, but mostly entertaining. It felt remarkably similar to Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Enough so that I wouldn't recommend reading the two books back-to-back.
Lisa Aiello
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-fiction
This story was quaint and charming and heartfelt and insightful. It is as if Drew Davies dug around in my brain and put all my own craziness and neuroses and flaws to paper (and probably everyone else's too). This story is told through letters written from Joy to her sister Lily after Joy picks up and moves to Denmark after some mysterious event, and to get away from the grips of her somewhat judgmental, but loving, mother. You get the sense that something just doesn't quite add up, and eventual ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
This book is basically a love letter from one sister to another, and all I can say is WOW. The writing is vivid, eloquent, and fluid. The characters are complex, quirky, and authentic. And the plot is a series of engaging, at times humorous subplots that unfold into an amusing, unputdownable story about life, loss, love, familial drama, secrets, misunderstandings, friendship, romance, acceptance, hope, and unconditional love.

Overall, Dear Lily is thoughtful, emotive, funny and endearing and with
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. There was something about Joy. She poured her heart out to Lily, the good and the bad stuff. Her letters were sad, funny, heartwarming- pretty much every emotion. I laughed and cried. I felt like I really got to know Joy and her whole family. I didn't mind that the story was told through letters. I wasn't too shocked when the truth about Lily was finally revealed. I sort of figured that part out but I'm still a little confused how. It was sort of explained at one point but I w ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best book I ever read, hands down! I wasn't expecting that, especially as I struggled a little bit for the first 20 percent of the book. But then it became so so so so good! I love the way It is written, through letter. I also liked the fact that it was taking place in Copenhagen in Denmark! So nice! I loved the way we see the main character changing throughout the year she lives in Denmark. And I loved the end. It's very emotional book, very emotional, so beautiful! I re ...more
Karen Whittard
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I loved most about this book is how different it is to all the other books out there. I loved how the dialogue was written in the form of letters to Lily. I felt a connection to Joy with her family life. Joy goes to live a new life in Denmark and tries to explain her new world, her actions and what has happened and is happening to Joy in her new life. It is full of secrets, family connections, friendship, love, feelings, finding one self and growing as a person. A fabulous, quirky read by a ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
Dear Lily is a heart-warming read that will have you both laughing and crying!

Joy feels like she’s lost her way, she’s in her mid-30’s and split up with her long-term boyfriend – Joy is feeling the judgement of her age versus no husband/children. As a result, Joy makes a slightly impulsive decision to accept a transfer of role offered to her in Denmark much to the dismay of her parents and ex boyfriend.
Initially, Joy is extremely nervous about her move to Denmark and falls apart when she gets
Alexandra WhimsyPages
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-2019
Dear Lily, No, that's way too formal and composed.
Help! Lily!
Better, but doesn't quite communicate the profoundness (profundity? profundification?) of this mess I'm in.

When I finally get my stuff together and plan a trip to Copenhagen, this is the book I will bring with me to read on the bus, airport and on the flight! Touching, witty and very emotional, it’s a perfect book to space out, lose yourself in someone else’s life, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of traveling.

Set in Cope
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes, when you don't know if you're making the right choices, even embracing a bad one makes you feel powerful."

I'm a sucker for epistolary novels. This book consists only of letters from Joy to her sister Lily, telling her about all the quirks and events happening in her life, and new start in Denmark after transferring for a job from England. Going into this story, I didn't know it was about Copenhagen and funny enough, it even includes a Jakob. I've read Probably the Best Kiss in the Wo
Lesley Kay
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I love books like this. I call them "Hostess cupcake reads" - light, fluffy, nothing of substance but nonetheless enjoyable. I read a lot of books about heavy subjects, and it's nice to break up the gloom with some cute chick lit every now and then. Junk food for the brain!

The book's format was unusual and interesting, as it's all in letters that the main character is writing to her sister, Lily, about her new life and everything she's experiencing. Since it's British, the slang and topics are
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This entire book is the stream of consciousness letters from Joy to her sister Lilly. She only writes when she is high on emotions and that comes out clearly in the pages. I am not sure if everyone has a friend who goes on tangents like Joy does, but I do, quite a few of them in fact. They honed my tangential conversation skills in the four years of living in a girls hostel at college. This means that the ambience of the book will seep into this review and I am not (actively)trying to mimic the ...more
Simonne Lambert
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Joy who requests a job transfer from her London office to the Copenhagen office. Her life at the moment seems to be a bit of a mess. She’s drinking too much and binge eating. And at the end of a relationship with her long standing boyfriend. When Joy is in Copenhagen we hear about her new life and struggles through her letters to her younger sister, Lily. I found this a charming, heartwarming story and really quite funny at times (I’m not a laugh out loud sort of person). I ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an emotionally brutal novel wrapped in a charming package, quite in the tradition of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s about new beginnings and the reality of it not being as happy as it seems to be. It still involves a lot of painful adjustments and mistakes.

The main character Joy, is ironically not very joyful. It can be difficult to read in her voice sometimes because she is clearly a person in pain. It is rewarding to see her journey from this seemingly obnoxious and damaged
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing, unique book. Instead of chapters, this book is divided into "letters". I won't spoil anything about this book, other than to point out that there is a twist which I predicted from the very first "letter". During that first "letter" I was skeptical about this book, unsure if I would enjoy it. But STICK WITH IT. This book will take you on emotional highs and lows. There were parts where I couldn't stop laughing, and other parts that had me welling up with tears (No YOU'RE CRYI ...more
Ashley *Booksbrewsandbarks*
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 but rounding to 5 stars. I love when I find an ARC on NetGalley that I know nothing about with an author I have never heard of but the synopsis just sounds perfect. Sometimes it works out for me and sometimes it doesn't and I am happy to say that, this time, it worked out wonderfully.

Epistolary novels can be difficult to write in a way that's successful as the pacing has to be perfect and you have to create entire scenes with very little dialogue. Dear Lily was one of the best examples of a
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Is it possible for a book written entirely in letters to sustain my interest?
If you’d have asked me before I started Dear Lily, I would have said ‘no’. In fact, if you’d asked me about 10% of the way through Drew Davies’ second book, I would have still said ‘no’ but something happened as I carried on reading - I forgot how it was written and became captivated by the story.
So, yes, with great writing, a wonderful cast and a catchy tale, which is funny and heartbreaking and all the things in betwe
This is the second book I have read by this author. I really enjoyed the first book, The Shape of Us and was really looking forward to this one. The whole story is told in the format of letters from two sisters Joy and Lily. Joy has moved away from home for a new start and writes to her younger sister, Lily. They are obviously very close and the content of the letters covers everything from really personal topics such as love and health right through to work and, of course, the reason why Joy mo ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a cute, endearing, heartwarming, hilarious, tear-jerker of a book. I found myself crying and then suddenly laughing out loud at the same time. If you are a fan of Eleanor Oliphant or cute little rom-coms, this book is for you.

Joy is a bit of a mess. Her life in London is falling apart and she is looking for a change of scenery. She transfers to Denmark for her job where she knows nothing about the culture, language, people, etc. Just as she did in London, she finds herself struggl
Andrea Pole
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Dear Lily by Drew Davies is a charming read that will warm your heart and then turn around and break it. Laugh out loud funny and heartachingly sad, this is one that will play on all of your emotions.

Joy is a single woman from England who accepts a job in Copenhagen in the hope of making a fresh start. We learn of Joy's experiences in Denmark through a series of letters addressed to her sister, Lily. As Joy negotiates her new life, her letters to Lily provide an honest and hilarious account in a
 Ceri Evans
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has it all! The style is kind of unique, one that I have dipped into before and enjoyed. The voice of the main character reminded me a little of Eleanor Oliphant (which I loved!) And I was rooting for her from the beginning. It was heart warming, heart breaking, uplifting, upsetting! Just wow! How an author can put you through those range of emotions in such a short space, and using familiar and easy language is quite a talent! I didn't want it to end - but I liked the way he wrapped e ...more
Kate (kate_reads_)
May 13, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: dnf-2019
This book was not for me. The book is told through letters from Joy to her sister Lily. Joy has just left her life in England to move to Denmark and try something different.

I think whether you love or hate this book will really come down to how you connect to Joy’s voice. I’ve seen many great reviews but I just couldn’t get into it.

Thank you very much to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
Joy is desperate for a new start in life, now in her mid 30’s, she’s found her desire for the on-and-off relationship with her boyfriend has waned, her anxiety and depression are increasing and her habits (including food, drink and cigarettes) are damaging her life and, most probably, her career. Requesting a transfer to the Copenhagen office, Joy is hoping to make a fresh start and redefine her life for her: despite just how scary that prospect is. So we begin the story as Joy is overthinking, ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
My full review available on Facing the Story
Sometimes authors manage to perfectly capture in words and feelings what the average adult goes through and Drew Davies certainly managed to do this with ease in Dear Lily. This book made me laugh, reminisce and wonder and that is exactly what I was hoping for when I decided to read it.

Dear Lily is told through a series of letters and this format cultivated an even stronger connection between Joy and Lily. Each chapter represents a letter that Joy writ
Laura Doherty
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully endearing book that shows the unique bond that sisters Joy and Lily have. Deciding she needs to make some serious changes in her life, Joy packs up her belongings and moves to the land of hygge..Denmark. Having used moving as a way of changing up my own life a few times I could totally relate.

However as Joy is a slightly neurotic, irrational, overthinker who hasn’t quite thought this through she starts writing to her sister Lily to help her cope with the numerous changes h
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