Reasons To Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe (Book Review)

Reasons To Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

Today I am so happy to be part of the Blog Tour for Reasons To Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe.

Thank you to Ellie Hudson from Penguin Random House and Viking Books for the tour invitation and a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.

Here is the Blog Tour Banner so that you can stop by and read other bloggers thoughts on this brand new book which is published on 28th March 2019


Funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish‘ Marian Keyes

‘I read all of Reasons To Be Cheerful in one glorious gulp’ Caitlin Moran

‘When people in the village heard I was about to start working in the city they tried to unsettle me with tales of woe. The sun, blotted out by the tall buildings, couldn’t shine and the rain was poisoned by the toxic fumes that poured from the sock factories. My skin would be covered in pimples from the hell of it all’

So begins a young woman’s journey to adulthood. Lizzie Vogel leaves her alcoholic, novel-writing mother and heads for Leicester to work for a racist, barely competent dentist obsessed with joining the freemasons.

Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly, if at top speed, into the murky depths of adult life: where her driving instructor becomes her best friend; her first boyfriend prefers birdwatching to sex and where independence for a teenage girl might just be another word for loneliness.

In Reasons to Be Cheerful Nina Stibbe shows her extraordinary gift for illuminating the vital details which make us human. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of being alive.


Purchase Link

My Thoughts

This was a really nostalgic read for me because it is set in the Eighties in the city of Leicester. which is not far from where I live. It is the first book I have read by Nina Stibbe, and after reading Reasons to Be Cheerful I will be adding others to my reading pile. Apparently, this is the third Lizzie Vogel novel, the previous ones are called Man at the Helm and Paradise Lodge, but this works fine to read as a standalone.

Lizzie Vogel is just entering adult life, she starts a new job which has accommodation included and leaves her family for the first time.  She works in a dental surgery which is quite an unusual setting for a comedy novel. As Libby says ‘none of the customers want to be there’ and the dentist has a very interesting chair side manner (don’t forget this was the 80’s!) Libby meets Andy who is also in the dentistry business and shares an equally unconventional upbringing. Their relationship takes a while to get going because they are both equally shy.

I adored Lizzie, she has a wacky, unordered mind and an articulate academic brain. I liked how she made the best of what life offered her (despite deserving much more), was totally unjudgmental of the extremely strange people who surrounded her, and despite all of that, had the most amazing dry, observational wit.

It’s a feel-good book which will put a smile on everyone’s face, (that is unless you have toothache!) It’s an easy read, character-based and highly recommended.


‘This made me laugh and broke my heart . . . Stibbe is one of the all time greats’ Daisy Buchanan

‘Loved it! I so love Lizzie. She is brave and kind and funny and totally original . . . I couldn’t have liked it more (as I think Noel Coward said.)’ Katie Fforde

‘Another great from Nina Stibbe’ Kathy Burke

‘Very few writers can find the delicate balance between heartbreak and hilarity like Nina Stibbe’ Red Magazine

Reasons To Be Cheerful is just the read you need right now, seamlessly weaving together the big themes of life with charm and warmth’ Stylist

‘Nina Stibbe is an author of such effortless wit that she could turn a shopping list into a bestseller’ Isabelle Broom, Women and Home

About The Author


Reasons to be Cheerful is Nina Stibbe’s latest book. She is also the author of award-winning Love, Nina – which was adapted for TV by the BBC – and the much-acclaimed Man at the Helm, Paradise Lodge, and An Almost Perfect Christmas. Born in Leicester, she now lives in Cornwall.


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