You are currently viewing April’s Book of the Month  – Happy Families By Julie Ma

April’s Book of the Month – Happy Families By Julie Ma

Happy Families By Julie MaHappy Families

I read this in two sittings because I was totally engaged in this warm, witty and totally engrossing book which revolves around three generations of a Chinese family living in a small town in Wales and the secrets and resentments which have come to define them.  Amy is thirty-four and has left a career in Cardiff to work in the family takeaway that her family have been running since the fifties. She lives in the upstairs flat with her grandfather, Ah Goong, whilst her mother and father live in a bungalow nearby. Why has she left her job and why doesn’t her grandfather speak to her father? Julie Ma expertly weaves the past and the present together to create a funny and quirky novel about family secrets and the challenges faced by the people from China who came to Britain to open the takeaway shops which feature in most of our high streets. It shines a light on a section of our society who rarely feature in fiction and if they do are side-lined to stereotypical roles.

This was the winner of The Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition and it’s easy to see why. It’s original, appealing and very funny.

Julie Ma, the author says:

“…everybody has more to them than being a woman behind a counter in Next or a man on the till in Aldi. Or even the girl who’s serving you in the Chinese Takeaway.

If you liked The Rosie Project, All The Lonely People and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  you are sure to love this.

Carole Ludlow

I was terrified of going through the menopause and whilst I glided through relatively unscathed, I didn't entirely escape its attempts to knock me down I firmly believe there is a positive side the menopause and to being an older woman in the 21st century. In my fifties I trained as a fitness instructor, which I did as a side hustle to my regular job of a college librarian. I also took up belly dancing and danced on stage in a city theatre and created my own fitness classes with hula hoops. Last year at the age of 61 I ditched the library job and now buy and sell vintage jewellery, run fitness classes and work part time from home in a customer services role. It ain't over till its over.

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