Anything Could Happen is a warm, wise, funny and uplifting novel about love, second chances and the unexpected and extraordinary paths life can take us down.
Our Friends of Bookends reviewing panel share their thoughts on Lucy Diamond’s upcoming new novel. Out early in ebook and audio December 14th and in hardback January 6th.
If there’s something that we need in these strange times that we are continuing to live through it’s a booster. I’m not talking about Covid vaccines, I’m talking about a literary booster. Something uplifting, undemanding but entertaining. And here it is in Lucy Diamond’s new book Anything Could Happen. The premise of the book revolves around the idea that throughout our lives we make many decisions that can set us off on a certain path. Those paths are not always the right ones, if we did but know it and circumstances along the way can sometimes thwart our intent. For Laura, and daughter Eliza, their seemingly ordinary life changes its path when Eliza comes of age and wishes to reconnect with her father. A lifetime of secrets are exposed and a host of new decisions are required, no one knowing whether they are the right ones. And so we have a story of life, love and relationships, of teenagers on the cusp of adulthood and the challenges that parents face. It’s the work of an experienced writer who knows just how to construct a story with a well paced narrative, who knows how to present us with characters that will make us laugh, make us cry, infuriate us on occasions, but also make us root for them, root for everything to work out okay in the end. And does it? Oh no! You’re not gonna get me on that one. You read the book for yourself.
Gill, Friends of Bookends
Eighteen year old Eliza is trying to find her father, she thinks she has found him (Steve Pickering) and after confronting him while he is doing his job as a painter and decorator she realises that it was a big mistake. After once again questioning her mother on the subject, she finally gets her to admit who her father is, then follows a trail to find him which ends up in a dash to Cambridge, to find Ben McManus, but Ben now has a life with his wife Kirsten, how will they react to this impending news? Kirsten and Ben have big decisions to make in their life’s and after a trip back to where it all began, for not only Lara but Ben and Kirsten, will things be OK or not? Many years and tears have gone by so now decisions have to be made for the best for everyone.
A tale of teenage angst, memories of a love and life from another era and hopes for the future. Is there to be a second chance for Lara? Eliza tries to do what is best for her parents but her being in the middle of a love triangle may be not for the best as secrets and lies emerge and life gets complicated.
I really enjoyed reading this book, finding out the stories behind the three main characters of Lara, Ben and Eliza and how their own personal stories turned out in the end. This is the first book I have read by Lucy Diamond, although I do have a few on my tbr pile and I can honestly say that they will be bumped up the pile now. A lovely story well worthy of 5 stars.
Heather, Friends of Bookends
Lucy Diamond is a popular author in the good feel mould of Jill Mansall and Milly Johnson.
In Anything Could Happen Lucy Diamond has created a Will they Won’t they? dilemma.
With a Sliding Door comparison,Lara and Ben’s situation starts in New York with a chance meeting that’s holds much promise. Unfortunately the potential lovers don’t get the chance see how their romance would pan out due to unforeseen circumstances.
There are few incidents that are woven in which adds to the interest and a few coincidences that pull the story together.
The speed in which Eliza and Ben establish a good relationship is surprising but it drives the narrative on so the story can progress to scene moving back to New York, where old feelings between Lara and Ben re-emerge. Of course things are revealed which means feelings turn icy.
The supporting characters, Kristen,Neil, and Alice with accidental meetings add complications and tie events up quite nicely, whilst adding spice.
It’s clever the way the author has incorporated an incident in the past which links it to the future and allows the story to have more depth and reality.
Though the ending is a forgone conclusion, fans of Lucy Diamond will no doubt enjoy this escapism.
A light- weight romantic read,that takes the reader on journey in more ways than one.
Francine, Friends of Bookends
A well written, relatable story about a relationship in modern times.
This is the story of Lara and her daughter Eliza, who when she turns eighteen, is determined to find out who her father is and track him down. This causes panic and fear in Lara as this is a subject, she has not been forthcoming about, because the memories are too painful with many unanswered questions.
Told in two timelines and in two locations, Scarborough and New York, Lara needs answers to what happened many years ago but is afraid of what the answers may be. Eliza wants to build a relationship with her father and becomes self-appointed matchmaker determined to bring her Mum and Dad together, but there are obstacles and many twists and turns in this story.
This is a fresh, warm book to cuddle up with along with a hot drink and a little treat.
Does true love always win?
Anne, Friends of Bookends
I was pretty excited to get a copy of this in advance of publication because Lucy Diamond is a must-read author for me. In fact, even if she wrote science fiction, or horror, I’d probably give it a go.
Those of you who are admirers, like me, will be pleased to know that this book is the same brand of thoughtful, lightly romantic fiction we know and love.
Lara Spencer met a man 19 years ago in New York. She thought Ben was her soul mate and after one night together she was looking forward to a second date. The date never happened, however. Fast forward to today and Lara’s daughter, Eliza, wants to meet her father. Lara has given up her journalism dreams to be a driving instructor and single parent and seems like a lovely mum – I’m not sure I’d be quite so cheery about a certain rescue which is needed near the start of the book.
This book is about all the what-ifs which occur in our lives, and what happens if you don’t take a chance. I loved all the missed chances for Lara and Ben. The fact that this romance nearly happens, then doesn’t, then they have to negotiate parenting a teenager together is a fresh take on a sliding door scenario. The book takes in some lovely travel – I would be very happy to have NYC as a travel possibility these days!
A really fun, enjoyable read.
Nicola, Friends of Bookends
If there’s one thing I enjoy when I’m feeling frazzled, then it’s a bit of chick-lit. Nothing too serious, just a bit of fluff to help me to de-stress. Anything Could Happen falls into the category that I would call ‘mature chick-lit.’ Mature in the sense that the main characters are in their 40s; but also mature in the quality of Lucy Diamonds writing. This is Diamond’s seventeenth novel and it shows. You know you are in safe hands here, so settle down for a quality story.
Lara and Ben meet in New York when Ben is on holiday and Lara is on a work placement. Fate means that they only spend one night together before parting and, in the days before social media, they remain apart. Except…Lara is pregnant and, after 18 years with just her Mum, Lara’s daughter Eliza has questions to which she demands answers.
I always say that you can judge the quality of an author by their minor characters. Some authors pour so much into their main protagonists that the minor characters just become decoration. Lucy Diamond has created some fantastic minor characters here. I would love to read a whole novel just devoted to Lara’s friend Heidi! This quality means that there were no sections of the novel which dragged for me, I was invested in all the storylines.
There is a lot of family drama in Anything Could Happen: Eliza wants to find her family, and Ben’s marriage is rocked by Eliza’s appearance. There are also sub-stories which detail the relationships between Lara and her mother; Ben and his sisters; and Ben’s wife Kirsten’s struggle to integrate into her family-in law. There are twists and turns within all these relationships which sometimes overlap in the most unexpected ways.
Overall, Anything Could Happen is a book which makes you think (as well as de-stressing you after a day at work.) Through Lara and Ben’s story we see that events happening to someone we haven’t even met (such as Ben’s Dad’s heart-attack) can change the course of our lives without us even knowing. It also challenges us not to slip into middle-age and assume ‘this is it;’ when in truth literally Anything Could Happen.
Angela, Friends of Bookends
What a peach of a novel! I gobbled it up and neglected everything I should have been doing so that I could finish it.
After a one night stand with the man of her dreams Lara is pregnant and brings up her daughter Eliza with a partner who leaves the family home after finding out that he is not the father. Eliza, aged 19, searches and finds her Dad, Ben and forges a very happy relationship with him, but how does this affect Lara and Ben’s wife? Of course there are interesting complications, but the conclusion is very satisfactory and just what the reader wants to happen. This is the great strength of the book.
If I have one criticism it is that the ending is rather rushed and the reader does not have time to luxuriate in the perfection of it. However this did not detract from my enjoyment.
I hope that Lucy Diamond will continue the story of Lara, Ben and Eliza in a sequel soon.
I can thoroughly recommend it as a special feel good read.
Jen, Friends of Bookends