Pieces of Happiness

In a novel as stunning as the island her characters inhabit, Anne Ostby tells the story of five sexagenarian women who take a leap of faith and move to Fiji to start a chocolate business. The women, friends since childhood, found vastly different paths through life after graduation. Ingrid studied accounting and spent her adult life keeping the County Bus Service books. Sina, single with a baby right out of high school, worked hard to raise and support her son. Now at almost 50, he's still sponging off of his mother, relying on her guilt in order to take what little money she has. Lisbeth, the most physically attractive, married her high school sweetheart. As her beauty waned, so did her husband's interest. Maya became a schoolteacher, but dementia is taking hold of her now. And Kat, the grand adventurer, left Norway to travel the world with her husband. Following his unexpected death, Kat invited her friends to join her in Fiji. They each arrive with cautious hope and buried secrets.

Pieces of Happiness bursts with the delicious flavors of friendship, self-respect and risk. Ostby's wonderfully flawed characters remind readers that there's plenty of life after gray hair, laughter is life affirming and a good friend is priceless. She crafts a Pacific island atmosphere so authentic, the salty sea air and dark chocolate aroma seem to envelop every page. The charming magic Ostby infuses into her Fijian cocoa farm and the women who run it makes Pieces of Happiness a joy to behold. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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