I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for incredible debut The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin. Thank you to Anne Cater and Doubleday Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautiful and moving book.
About the book:
A debut novel of unlikely friendship, in which two women, one young, one old, meet in art class while in hospital and decide to celebrate their well-lived lives through paintings.
Fiercely alive and brimming with tenderness, this uplifting story revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we are most in need.
Life is short – no one knows that better than 17 year-old Lenni Petterssen. On the Terminal ward, the nurses are offering their condolences already, but Lenni still has plenty of living to do. For a start, she has questions about her fate she needs answers to, and stories yet to uncover.
When she meets 83-year-old Margot, a fellow patient in purple pyjamas offering new friendship and enviable artistic skills, Lenni’s life begins to soar in ways she’d never imagined.
As their bond deepens, a world of stories opens up: of wartime love and loss, of misunderstanding and reconciliation, of courage, kindness and joy. Stories that have led them to their combined one hundred years, to the end of their days.
About the author:
Marianne Cronin was born in 1990. She studied English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. She now spends most of her time writing, with her newly-adopted rescue cat sleeping under her desk. When she’s not writing,Marianne can be found performing improv and stand up in the West Midlands, where she lives.
Her debut novel The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is to be published around the world and is being adapted into a feature film by Sony/Columbia Pictures. It has been sold in 25 territories to date.
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin is a stunning debut novel that stays with you long after the final page has been turned. I’d heard good things about this book in the lead up to it being published and I have to say it more than exceeded my expectations!
Lenni Pettersson is 17 years old and a patient on a ward for children and young adults with life-limiting conditions. With people already offering their condolences, Lenni decides she isn’t dead yet and still has plenty of living to do and questions to be answered. Then one day she bumps into 83 year old Margot in the hospital corridor and a new friendship is born. The unlikely duo decide to embark on a project that will hopefully see them paint 100 pictures: one for each year of their lives, which together add up to 100 years.
As their friendship deepens Margot opens up to Lenni and tells her a series of stories about her life through the years. These stories are rich in detail, bringing the Margot of both the past and the present vividly to life as she recounts the many experiences she’s been through. The highs, lows, loves and losses she has encountered throughout a life well lived are beautifully written, often moving me to tears.
And then we have Lenni. Remarkable, strong and often funny, she sometimes gets up to no good, much to the annoyance of some of the nursing staff. I loved Lenni from the very first page of this beautifully written and thought provoking book. She’s so full of life that it’s hard to believe she doesn’t have a long and happy life ahead of her. How can it be that someone whose light is shining so brightly is about to have it snuffed out?
But as incomprehensible and heartbreakingly sad as it is, Lenni and Margot’s story is far from the depressing read you could be forgiven for thinking it is. It is a mesmerising, compelling story of an extraordinary friendship that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. It will break your heart and lift you up, moving you to tears at the same time as making your heart sing.
It’s difficult to put into words just how incredible The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is. I loved everything about it, from the poignant and vividly realised stories of Margot’s past, to memorable characters such as Father Arthur who Lenni finds herself inexplicably drawn to, to the extraordinary friendship of Lenni and Margot as the final chapter of their lives become so unexpectedly intertwined.
It’s hard to believe this is Marianne Cronin’s debut novel. It’s the kind of book that doesn’t come along very often, getting under your skin in ways you could never have imagined. I adored it!
A stunning novel that I will never forget. Highly recommended.
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
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