A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their 60s, 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 Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth each receive a letter in the mail posing the same question, the answer is obvious. Their old high school friend Kat - Kat the adventurer, Kat who spread her wings and took off as soon as they graduated - has extended the invitation of a lifetime: Come live with me on my cocoa farm in Fiji. Come spend the days eating chocolate and gabbing like teenagers once again, free from men, worries, and cold. Come grow old in paradise, together, as sisters. Who could say no?
Now in their 60s, the friends have all but resigned themselves to the cards they've been dealt. There's Sina, a single mom with financial woes; gentle Maya, who feels the world slipping away from her; Ingrid, the perennial loner; Lisbeth, a woman with a seemingly picture-perfect life; and then Kat, who is recently widowed. As they adjust to their new lives together, the friends are watched over by Ateca, Kat's longtime housekeeper, who oftentimes knows the women better than they know themselves and recognizes them for what they are: like "a necklace made of shells: from the same beach but all of them different". Surrounded by an azure-blue ocean, cocoa trees, and a local culture that is fascinatingly, joyfully alien, the friends find a new purpose in starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness.
A story of love, hope, and chocolate, Pieces of Happiness will reaffirm your faith in friendship, second chances, and the importance of indulging one's sweet tooth.
"Pieces of Happiness offers up delectable food, a lush location, and unwavering friendships." (Kirkus Reviews)
"If you loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby should be on your reading list." (Good Housekeeping UK)
"A funny, life-affirming novel about friendship and second chances.... The Fijian setting is stunning, though the island's attitude toward aging and a life well-lived is the real eye-opener. (Saga magazine, UK)
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A good read
- Denise K