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Publisher's Summary

When story-lover Anna takes over Longhampton's bookshop, it's her dream come true. And not just because it gets her away from her three rowdy stepchildren and their hyperactive dalmatian.

Unpacking boxes filled with childhood classics, Anna can't shake the feeling that maybe her own fairy-tale ending isn't all that she'd hoped for. But as the stories of love, adventure, secret gardens, lost dogs, wicked witches and giant peaches breathe new life into the neglected shop, Anna and her customers get swept up in the magic, too.

Even Anna's best friend, Michelle - who categorically doesn't believe in true love and handsome princes - isn't immune. But when secrets from Michelle's own childhood come back to haunt her and disaster threatens Anna's home, will the wisdom and charm of the stories in the bookshop help the two friends - and those they love - find their own happy ever afters?

©2009 Lucy Dillon (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Profile Image for Annemarie O'Brien
  • Annemarie O'Brien
  • 06-06-16

Finally - an amazing story!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret of Happy Ever After to be better than the print version?

This is the perfect summer read and Lucy Price-Lewis narration really brought it to life. The story was dynamic and really kept you gripped. I loved the constant flux of characters that were expertly interwoven and highly entertaining.

Have you listened to any of Lucy Price-Lewis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Lucy Price-Lewis is a personal favourite for me when it comes to narration. She never disappoints.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Turning it off and putting it down to go back to life in general was hard.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Ali
  • Ali
  • 12-28-16

Like a warm blanket

I loved this book - a home shop, a bookshop, two totally different women, two dogs and lots of family dramas! Narration was brilliant - she got the intonation and voices just right. I felt like I was wrapped in a warm blanket listening to a life story that I somehow knew would turn out good in the end! A must listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 09-08-16

Great story

loved the story and the narrator. very easy to get into and loose yourself in Michelle and Anna 's world.

the only thing is it felt like the last chapters of the book were rushed. But overall loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Tracey-Anne
  • Tracey-Anne
  • 07-12-16

grate story

I absolutely LOVED the story but it finished a little too abruptly for me tbh. I wanted more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Dogwalker
  • Dogwalker
  • 02-20-18

Fantastic

From the beginning l was hooked and listened as much as possible. I tried to limit myself and try and make the book last until my next credit but couldn't manage it. This is a story of a complicated family and friends. l loved how the characters gelled together. I don't want to give too much away but I'm still thinking about all the characters days after l finished the book and wish there was a sequel. If you love family, friends, dogs and shops this is the book for you. I promise you will love it.

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-17

A good look at relationships & how " family " life has changed.

Dillon ( is she really Diamond ?) brought the characters to life. She managed to capture what the internal processes of different people are. Entertaining, full of insights into modern day relationship struggles but not draggy & dispiriting. In real life would there be happy endings? Would there really be as the lives of those if this story progressed/extrapolated? A nice light read on a weighty topic. Great narrator who was very good too on accents.

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Profile Image for Michelle Dixon
  • Michelle Dixon
  • 04-16-17

Brilliant!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret of Happy Ever After to be better than the print version?

Yes, really I think so because it is so easy to listen to and imagine everything.I never got to reading it so I cannot really comment on that, I was enjoying listening to it so much.

What did you like best about this story?

The book shop. I was upset to hear that it might close or be downstairs. I think a lot of people would like to own a bookshop 2nd hand or new books, I know I would. Also I enjoyed listening about Pongo and Tavish and their little lives.

What about Lucy Price-Lewis’s performance did you like?

Everything! she has a great voice for this sort of story and at 1st I had trouble telling who was who except for a few people but I got them eventually. Lucy's voice did not change a lot for different people except a few, but still delivered the story across beautifully.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes I would of if I could, but did not buy to do that because I new I would not be able to. Plus our pets like listening to stories before the go to sleep every night.

Any additional comments?

I have to be careful the of content of books for the reason above, this lighthearted heartwarming story was quite apt in a way for my pets. And luckily I have the same taste in books as they do.This might seem a bit mad to some people but not to me.

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Profile Image for Sarah Bailey
  • Sarah Bailey
  • 03-05-17

Great book

Would you listen to The Secret of Happy Ever After again? Why?

Yes

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were written so well.

Have you listened to any of Lucy Price-Lewis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending it brought a tear or two, I just didn't want it to end.

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Profile Image for Joanne
  • Joanne
  • 01-08-17

Lovely book

loved it. slow to get into then addictive. heartwarming story about how lives can be complicated and the importance of trust, family and friends

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Profile Image for Carien
  • Carien
  • 09-21-16

No Prince Charming here...I think

Any additional comments?

There are few authors who can make me run through the whole spectrum of emotions in the course of one novel. This as definitely one such novel. The narrator was absolutely fabulous and I especially liked Rory a little more because of her narration.
Michelle and Anna's unlikely friendship blossoms and neither realises that there are gaps, flaws if you like, in this friendship. But Michelle allows Anna to escape from her drama-filled instant family while Anna accepts Michelle without judgement - something she's never had before.
There came a point in Anna's narrative where I wanted to scream at the stars/fate/destiny that everything was so unfair; she needed, deserved a break - a chance at her dream. But the punches kept rolling - along with my tears. Poor Anna - always the least. I was proud of Anna for the decision she made just before the last Christmas of the novel. How she managed to keep that household going was inspirational but also heart wrenchingly sad. And Phil, as much as she loved him, was a spineless child most of the time, allowing his children and his mother to make their lives even harder.
I think Michelle was my favourite character. I was short of breath, anxious and scared FOR her so many times. Michelle was made into the woman she became by events only revealed in the last few chapters and made me even more angry with her parents, especially her interfering mother.
Some reviewers felt that Becca's situation at the end of the novel was unnecessary, but I respectfully disagree. It was needed as catalyst to force so many issues to the fore and ultimately left Phil with no choice but to make a stand.
And Rory? Well, he and the dogs were my favourite supporting cast members.
If there is to be any criticism, it is that too many loose ends were bunched together at the end of the novel, rather than giving them a fair resolution.
This is definitely a book I will recommend and definitely one I will buy as gifts for friends.

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Profile Image for Sheryll
  • Sheryll
  • 06-06-16

Disappointing.

This book went on for too long . The main female characters were frustratingly weak with abusive men and by chapter 20 I had had enough. Couldnt bear another 14 chapters .
Good narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • missmitzie
  • 04-14-18

Very slow moving

I usually really enjoy Lucy Dillon books but I found this one really frustrating. The plot of the book was painfully slow and I found the main characters unlikeable. Anna was frustrating and too busy being a doormat for me to have any sympathy for her. I frequently found myself saying "just stand up for yourself". Michelle and her family were really disagreeable. I find it really hard to enjoy a book when I don't like the main characters. The previous book I had just read was 100 Pieces of Me, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book didn't even come close to that.

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Profile Image for Leah Rigby
  • Leah Rigby
  • 09-08-17

fantastic book!

lots of interesting characters and twists! loved it. Couldnt put it down! loved the ending.

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Profile Image for TeaDrinker5
  • TeaDrinker5
  • 08-23-17

Another brilliant book by Lucy Dillon!

Love this book! An interesting read that enables you to delve into the lives of the characters. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's enjoyed other Lucy Dillon books, if they like stories about life told in a humerous and realistic way.

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Profile Image for christine
  • christine
  • 02-01-17

What a delightful read! Absolutely loved it.

This is a lovely book. great characters and hood syory line. love a happy ending

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Profile Image for Lacee
  • Lacee
  • 12-16-16

I really enjoyed this book

I had moments when my jaw literally fell open, the depiction of the characters was so real that you felt your own heart break, skip a beat and fall in love.

Lucy Price-Lewis is a fabulous narrator.

Definitely worth it.

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Profile Image for lisajayn
  • lisajayn
  • 07-28-16

Beautiful story

This was a beautiful story of love, friendship, family and the realities of life. Intertwined was the ever- present reminder of the joy that books can bring to people of all types. I enjoyed this audiobook from beginning to end.