REVIEW: On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond

In brief: Four friends witness a horrible accident at a friend’s birthday lunch. This spurs them on to confront their pasts and open up about long-held secrets.

The good: Lucy Diamond’s books sparkle with love, friendship and humour.

The not-so-good: Was there a hint of worry in one of the character’s futures at the very end?

Why I chose it: Enjoy Lucy Diamond’s books for long summer nights. Thanks Pan Macmillan for the ARC.

Year: 2018

Pages: 485 (ARC)

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Setting: Manchester, UK

Rating: 9 out of 10

Last year I was introduced to Lucy Diamond’s books (The House of New Beginnings) and instantly fell in love. Lucy’s books are full of warmth, celebrating female friendships through life’s up and downs. They are comfy reads that I associate with long summer days and nights (nights because you can’t help but get engrossed in the story). Naturally, I had to start reading On a Beautiful Day on a lazy summer weekend and continued to read for several days and nights (only interrupted by a pesky thing called life). What I love about Lucy Diamond’s books is how welcoming they are. They seem to pull you in with open arms to the story, standing right alongside the characters.

I was very happy to become part of the group of women who make up the main characters. They all appear to be fun, happy and doing well in their life…until witnessing a nasty accident (at a birthday lunch no less) brings their issues to the fore. India, whose birthday lunch it is, develops a fixation with one of the victims. But is it as simple as that, or does Alice remind her of something in her own past? Jo has come through a divorce and met a new man at the mechanic’s. But his daughter Maisie is hostile, causing Jo to question whether she wants to do this. Her sister Laura desperately wants a child, but nothing has been happening. When she discusses options with her husband, it drives him further away. But Eve has the deepest secret of all. She’s found a lump in her breast and is paralysed with fear about what to do next. Running down a client may just spur her into action…

While the characters all have big problems on their mind, there’s a lot of fun to this novel too. Lucy Diamond brings humour to the story through wayward children who do random things and so-cringe worthy-it’s-laughable moments. The strength of the friendship between the four women also shines through really strongly. Don’t dismiss this story as light and fluffy ‘chick lit’ though – it’s a story of reconciling your past, dealing with a difficult present and being able to look towards the future (even if it doesn’t hold what you expected). The book is carefully plotted and planned. The reader is never left hanging, wondering what’s happened to a particular character as the story turns to them at just the right time. The story also feels connected – meaning that the characters are closely interwoven within each other’s lives. Not once did I feel that there were four separate stories, or be unable to remember who was who. I’ve come to realise lately that creating unique characters that have one story is a special skill, and Lucy Diamond has it in spades. (Yeah, I meant that pun!)

Lucy Diamond’s books are perfect for reading when you just want to escape into another world. Definitely an author for the hot summer days, or long winter nights!

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