Books

Books that make you Happy: The Truths & Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

With everything going on in the world right now, we could all do with some cheering up. Well, look no further than ‘The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton’ to raise your spirits. I needed something uplifting to read over the Christmas break, and decided to give this a go as I had seen such rave reviews about it. Few novel endings have made my heart soar just as much as this one did, and I was grinning from ear to ear when I tentatively closed it. Dealing with themes such as grief, first loves, and shattered dreams, this novel exudes abundant amounts of warmth and charm.

Grace Atherton is a violin maker with a shop in rural England who has dreams of entering a prestigious instrument competition, but one night, her world comes tumbling down.

This book stands as a testament to the healing powers of friendship, and that better days are always coming. The characters, all flawed in their own way, are incredibly relatable – and the close bond created between them exhibits how sometimes the best friends can be found in the unlikeliest of places. I hadn’t read a novel in less than 24 hours since about the age of 14, but I steamrolled through this, and it left me wanting more.

As Grace is a violin maker, there are beautifully vivid descriptions of musicality scattered throughout the novel, which I found incredibly soothing. I also now know more about building an instrument than I ever thought I would, and as a former violinist myself, it made me wish I had never retired my bow and resin.

This book was truly what I needed in a dark, depressing, December, and I can only hope that it will bring some joy to your January in the same way.


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19/01/2021

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Anastasia Christodoulou


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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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