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Sunday, 22 May 2011

To my best friends by Sam Baker

Nicci Morrison was always the first of her friends to do everything! But she wasn't meant to be the first to die. Saying goodbye is never easy, but at least Nicci has one last chance to make a difference before she goes. She's decided to leave letters giving her most treasured possessions to her closest friends. To her single friend Mona she bequeaths her husband David, little knowing her best friend found The One a long time ago!To childless Jo, Nicci leaves the care of her three-year-old twin daughters. Jo however is finding it hard enough to cope with the fortnightly arrival of her stepsons. To Lizzie she leaves her garden. But while Lizzie is loyally tending Nicci's plants, the parts of her own life that are in desperate need of attention are falling by the wayside. But Nicci didn't always know best, and she couldn't have imagined the changes and challenges her letters set in motion for the loved ones she's left behind.
When Nicci Morrison died, she left her three best friends each a letter within which she left her most important things: her young twin girls; her husband; and her garden. Each friend have their own lives, own problems and careers to develop. The book tells of each friend, along with Nicci's husband coming to terms with Nicci's death along with how they react and deal with Nicci's very personal and precious requests to each of them. The story is also interspersed with diary entries led by the discovery of an outfit, pair of shoes or accessory from Nicci's past found while the friends are sorting Nicci's vast wardrobe.

I really enjoyed this book, Sam Baker has a lovely writing style which I found very easy to loose myself in. There are many times of happiness, along with sadness throughout this book. Nicci's lose is a big one to everyone, Nicci's friends and husband each deal with it in their own way. One thing which brings the friends together is the difficult job of sorting through her immense wardrobe which is stored chronologically - as the friends start the daunting job of what to keep and what to donate or throw away, there are special items which bring back memories and we learn about Nicci's life and that of her friends. Whilst reading this book I loved the look back at styles through the past few decades - I was younger than the friends but remembered most of the fashions, even though I didn't wear them.
I really enjoyed this book, Baker's style of writing is easy to read, a book that can be picked up and a few chapters read when you have a few spare minutes. It is one of those books that can make you smile in one chapter but shed a few tears later on.
I would recommend this to fans of chick lit everywhere and is a great book to put in hand luggage, your beach bag or handbag!
Thank you to the publishers for sending me this book to review.

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