Funny and Heartfelt: Read an Extract of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Funny and Heartfelt: Read an Extract of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

When people say ‘terminal’, I think of the airport.

I picture a wide check-in area with a high ceiling and glass walls, the staff in matching uniforms waiting to take my name and flight information, waiting to ask me if I packed my bags myself if I’m travelling alone.

I imagine the blank faces of passengers checking screens, families hugging one another with promises that this won’t be the last time. And I picture myself among them, my suitcase wheeling behind me so effortlessly on the highly polished floor that I might be floating as I check the screen for my destination.

I have to drag myself out of there and remember that that is not the type of terminal meant for me.

They’ve started to say ‘life-limiting’ instead now. ‘Children and young people with life-limiting conditions . . .’

The nurse says it gently as she explains that the hospital has started to offer a counselling service for young patients whose conditions are ‘terminal’. She falters, flushing red. ‘Sorry, I meant life-limiting.’ Would I like to sign up? I could have the counsellor come to my bed, or I could go to the special counselling room for teenagers. They have a TV in there now. The options seem endless, but the term is not new to me. I have spent many days at the airport. Years.

And still, I have not flown away.

I pause, watching the upside-down rubber watch pinned to her breast pocket. It swings as she breathes.

‘Would you like me to put your name down? The counsellor, Dawn, she really is lovely.’

‘Thank you, but no. I have my own form of therapy going on right now.’

She frowns and tilts her head to the side. ‘You do?’

Continue reading the extract here…

Reviews

The Friendship of a Lifetime: Read our Review of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Review | Our Review

15 February 2021

The Friendship of a Lifetime: Read our Review of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

    Publisher details

    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
    Author
    Marianne Cronin
    Publisher
    Penguin
    Genre
    Fiction
    Released
    16 February, 2021

    Synopsis

    Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it's not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with. Dodging doctor's orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant as they realize that together they have lived an astonishing one hundred years. To celebrate their shared century, they decide to paint their life stories: of growing old and staying young, of giving joy, of receiving kindness, of losing love, of finding the person who is everything. As their extraordinary friendship deepens, it becomes vividly clear that life is not done with Lenni and Margot yet. Fiercely alive, disarmingly funny and brimming with tenderness, The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot unwraps the extraordinary gift of life even when it is about to be taken away, and revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we need them most.
    Marianne Cronin
    About the author

    Marianne Cronin

    Marianne Cronin was born in 1990 and grew up in Warwickshire. She studied English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, before going on to specialise in applied linguistics, earning her MA and PhD from the University of Birmingham. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is her debut novel

    Books by Marianne Cronin

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