editor's choice




From it’s beautiful cover to its beautiful writing, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a joy to read. The one hundred years referenced in the title are the collective ages of 17-year-old Lenni and 83-year-old Margot, the protagonists of writer Marianne Cronin’s debut novel.

Margot has lived a full and challenging life, while Lenni is facing the end of hers, when they meet in a hospital art class. Although at very different stages of their lives, they both face death. Forming an immediate bond, Margot and Lenni decide to produce a picture for each year they’ve lived.

The result of two terminally ill women embarking on such a journey could be maudlin or overplayed – instead it’s poignant, celebratory and funny, and, yes, you probably will need a hankie or two.

In Lenni and Margot, Cronin creates two wonderful characters, women with whom we sympathise and empathise, women who we also admire, enjoy and laugh with. That’s no mean feat. Cronin’s supporting cast is also drawn with a fine eye, especially Father Arthur, with whom Lenni spends a lot of time asking profound and funny questions.

This is a lovely book, with a great deal of charm and grace, which, despite its subject matter, two women facing death, embraces life. A great debut and also just a very, very good book.

Highly, highly recommended.


The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot  | Marianne Cronin | Doubleday | 14 February 2021 | hardback |

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater of Random Things Tours, as always, and to the publisher for sending us a book proof and jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other wonderful reviewers on this tour and please share them.

Also of interest:Helen Fisher’s wonderful Space Hopper’; ‘Alice Walker and the power of poetry‘; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Sylvia Plath on poetry‘; ‘WB Yeats, “The Journey of the Magi“‘; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Remembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

This review is copyright © 2021 by The Literary Shed. All rights are reserved. All opinions expressed are our own. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please contact us for permission and provide the necessary credit. Thank you so much. We welcome your feedback.





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