When I finally get my stuff together and plan a trip to Copenhagen, this is the book I will bring with me to read on the bus, airport and on the flight! Touching, witty and very emotional, it’s a perfect book to space out, lose yourself in someone else’s life, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of traveling.
Set in Copenhagen, Denmark, «Dear Lily» is a collection of letters from Joy to her younger sister Lily, where she recollects her experiences of moving to a different country, getting a new job, finding friends and dealing with mundane struggles of everyday life.
It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.
On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…
I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?)
I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to.
Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
Joy has plunged into an adventure by accepting a job offer in the medical research office in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is moving away from her hometown and her comfort zone. She leaves her family, her boyfriend, and her sister behind.
For anyone who’s experienced the dive into another culture, Joy’s struggles will sound very familiar – the fear to go outside and not being understood, the loneliness, the need to adapt and the desire to be accepted. At the beginning of the book, I had that feeling that Joy was running from something, maybe from her own emotions, and the only way to escape was to build herself a brand new life.
Witty and sarcastic, Joy’s letters to her little sister Lily were a pleasure to read, but you could also tell that her attempts to make jokes, to seem light and uplifting came as a protective mechanism to not have to face the hardships of life with a dead-serious face.
As much as I enjoyed Joy as the main protagonist and as much as I loved the writing style, the story itself felt a little bit too much. And I can’t put my finger exactly on what bugged me, but the number of things that kept happening made me feel overwhelmed. The constant drama, self-deprecation, and attempts of a better lifestyle… If it was too much for me as I was just reading ABOUT it, I can’t imagine how Joy managed to juggle it all!