An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories. Their last one begins here.
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, eighty-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.
Wow, what a read! The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot from debut author Marianne Cronin was a moving, funny and heartfelt story, perfect for readers of uplifting fiction.
There’s so much to love about this book: the characters are vividly imagined and brimming with life, such as the wonderful protagonist Lenni who, despite being dealt the short straw in life, approaches every situation with optimism, humour and an open heart. Then there’s the feisty and young-at-heart Margot who has lived a fascinating and eventful life filled with both joy and heartbreak. I was completely invested in both these characters, and it was a genuine pleasure to watch their friendship blossom on the page.
The supporting characters were also a joy to follow, from the philosophical Father Arthur, the cherry-haired new nurse, and the bright and cheery Pippa, who runs the hospital’s art classes.
A beautiful story of friendship and love, of seizing life by the horns and cherishing what we have, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a big-hearted and life-affirming read that will break your heart and put it back together again. It also marks out Marianne Cronin as a rising literary talent, and definitely an author to keep an eye on.
I think this book will be a big hit, and it would make a fantastic book club read. Just make sure you keep a packet of Kleenex on hand, this one is definitely a tear-jerker.