Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 336 pages
First Published: 2021
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Just in time for summer comes a touching novel perfect for fans of Five Feet Apart or A Man Called Ove. When Lenni, a dying 17-year-old girl, meets Margot, an 83-year-old woman awaiting heart surgery, at the art room of a Glasgow hospital, an unlikely friendship blooms. Together, they decide to make 100 paintings to celebrate the 100 years they have lived between them. Cronin’s debut novel is heartwarming and sweet, playing on your emotions as it weaves between grief and joy, loss and love, and all the things that make up a life.
An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories.
Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though the teenager has been told she’s dying, she still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital’s arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined.
As their friendship blooms, a world of stories opens for these unlikely companions who, between them, have been alive for one hundred years. Though their days are dwindling, both are determined to leave their mark on the world. With the help of Lenni’s doting palliative care nurse and Father Arthur, the hospital’s patient chaplain, Lenni and Margot devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived—stories of love and loss, of courage and kindness, of unexpected tenderness and pure joy.
Though the end is near, life isn’t quite done with these unforgettable women just yet.
Delightfully funny and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot reminds us of the preciousness of life as it considers the legacy we choose to leave, how we influence the lives of others even after we’re gone, and the wonder of a friendship that transcends time.
About Marianne Cronin
Marianne Cronin is the author of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot. She grew up in Warwickshire, England, but currently lives in the West Midlands.