BOOK CLUB: Sincerely Me

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Sincerely Me by Juliet Henderson is a brilliant read. Although the story contains alcoholism, depression, loneliness, and grief, it is also a story of relationships. It includes family, friendships, coming to terms with the past, second chances, forgiveness, and moving forward.

Danny Mulberry is 39 years old. He is the first to admit that he could do better in life – responsibility is not one of his finer points.

He is living in his best mate Dom’s garden shed in an upmarket London suburb. 

Danny is frequently unemployed and his second home is at the bar at the Lamb and Flag Hotel.

After a heavy night at the Lamb and Flag, Danny wakes up on the footpath, halfway through their front gate. Next to him is a can of red paint, a paintbrush, and some words of wisdom painted in large red letters on the footpath.

With no recollection of anything from the night before, Danny pleads guilty as he is arrested. 

While pondering if he was even capable of such a philosophical statement, plus he doesn’t even write that neatly when sober, he notices Ray, their nosy neighbour, hiding in the bushes with a camera. It doesn’t take much to work out that Ray has dobbed him into the police. Danny feels quite justified in giving Ray a two-finger salute from the back of the police car.

Ray captures this moment on camera, and passes the photo and story on to the local newspaper. They run the story unbeknown to Danny.

The article sets in motion events that will change Danny’s life.

Wolfie is the 15 year old teenage daughter of Danny’s estranged sister, Lou. Lou and Danny last had contact 16 years ago and Wolfie has never met her uncle.  Quite by chance, Wolfie finds the paper in the waiting room at the dentist. She recognises the photo from her mum’s photo album, although Danny obviously looks older.

Lou needs help. Wolfie sets out to find her uncle. It isn’t difficult as his address is in the paper.

The newspaper article and advice has appealed to the public, with readers writing in with their problems, hoping Danny has more words of wisdom and tips to help them.

The newspaper employs Danny to reply to the letters.

Danny is the first to admit he is not an enlightened guru. It is while pondering replies to the letters, Danny realises that his father has given him great advice in his early years and he draws on this advice to reply to the letters.

Danny is successfully helping strangers, but will he be able to help his own family?

The characters are wonderful and the story heartwarming. The unresolved issues between Lou, Danny, and Wolfie keep you engaged.

Dom’s patience as Danny’s friend is truly amazing. Six-year-old George, Dom’s son, is priceless with his observations and comments. Gentleman, Danny’s dog, has a humorous input with his wonderful expressions.

The book is easy to read. The chapters are narrated, often with humour, by Danny and Wolfie.

I thoroughly recommend Sincerely Me.

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House Australia for the opportunity to read this excellent book.

A selection of our members are reading Sincerely Me by Julietta Henderson. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Sincerely Me

  1. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I absolutely loved this book.
    Danny goes from an alcoholic, living in a garden shed, to the wise ears and adviser to so many.
    There are sad and frustrating times, as well as joyful. I actually laughed out loud at the wonderful descriptions of the dog and his name, Gentleman. He is so easy to visualise, and I feel lives up to his name .
    Who would have ever thought, a drunken night, a nosey neighbour and a newspaper article, could bring about family finding each other, and the growth of so many wonderful people.
    It really is a heartwarming story, and the lives of many are changed forever, from that one drunken night, and what eventuates from the following morning.
    Easy to read (and not want to put down) a little different as parts are narrated, but in all, a joyful story of hardships, family, kindness, and love.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace for the pleasure I had reading this, and to Penguin Random House, for the opportunity.
    I highly recommend this wonderful book, and will be looking out for more stories from Julietta Henderson.

  2. I didn’t think this was going to be “my kind of book” but thankyou so much to Beauty and Lace and Juliette Henderson for proving me so very wrong. I loved it and was very sad to leave these characters when I finished the book way to soon.
    Danny, Dom, Lou Wolfie, the wonderful hyperactive young boy George and the very loyal dog Gentleman all have their own story and Danny, Lou and Wolfie’s chapters are written in their own words.
    A story of sadness, friendship, kindness, loyality acceptance and forgiveness bring this family and friends from the depth of despair to a journey of togetherness.
    Filled with wise words and treasured memories I highly recommend this book.

  3. Starting off this book only a few days after ending another book with a completely different storyline, I read the first few chapters and thought……what the?! I thought I had a book before me that would be hard to get into, but I had to keep going because I have to review it for good or bad.
    I now relish in the fact that I have to read every book to give it a review and it’s not like a book I just buy and think I`ll leave it there if it doesn’t get me hooked straight away. (perhaps I was being impatient at the time lol)
    So when I pass this book on to my friend, I’ll be sure to tell her to keep reading as after the first 2 chapters, when you get to know Danny and Wolfie, it’s game on amazing! or `a bloody diamond geezer` like you will read in the book with laughter. Then you fall in love with little George, and Dom who is oh so patient and ultra kind, and who could forget Gentlemen!
    This book had me laughing out louder than normal, even had me teary before page 171 and by page 270 with Danny and his Sister Lou. I absolutely resonated with the sense of humor written by Danny in the letters and also the thoughts in his head, Julietta Henderson is such a clever writer and I just loved this book so much I didn’t want to stop.
    The words, the sayings, the characters, the emotion, and the transformation in this book were most joyous and had me thinking about my family, how my own brother was similar to Danny as a teenager and my mum never had love for me so I think I really connect on an emotional level to this.
    This book made me try and understand perhaps it was postnatal depression or mental illness that may have been there with Danny and Lou`s mum, I don’t know but that’s the way I concluded it to be the cause of what their mum did. In Lou`s case, I thought more like severe depression.
    Gosh, I can’t wait to dive into another book written by Julietta! Who`d have thought this was such a wonderful book to read! Such a favorite of mine!
    Thank you Beauty and Lace, Julietta Henderson (you diamond geezer you) haha! and Penguin books,
    I highly recommend this read as it was different from my usual and I`m so glad I chose it and got the chance to read it! Just Awesome!

  4. What a start to a fantastic read! A writing style that is completely different and had me hooked from the beginning!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from Juliet Henderson
    The characters were real, and the method had me involved and invested from the start, wondering where it was all leading too.
    While giving little life stories along the way, the greater part was the subliminal message throughout.
    Thank you so much for this book, it was just what I needed at the right time.

  5. When I started this book I wasn’t sure it was for me, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are well written to the point I could picture them like I was in the room with them – particularly when Danny and Wolfie first meet – George had me laughing at his antics in that chapter. This was the point where I became invested in this book and had to find out how a drunk living in his friends garden shed could become a wise, advice giving guru.

    An enjoyable read, filled with sadness, hope, forgiveness and family.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. I started this book and it had me engrossed from the beginning, it is different from others I have read.
    It has a bit of everything and it meshes all together.
    A highly entertaining good read.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House Australia for the opportunity to read this wonderful book,

  7. I really loved Julietta Henderson’s previous book The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman, so I had high expectations for Sincerely, Me. And although it took me a little longer to get into this one, it certainly delivered the goods. Full of flawed, real characters with big hearts and big challenges, you can’t help but become emotionally invested in this crew. A series of unlikely events turns out to be the catalyst of enormous and restorative life change. A fabulous journey I would not hesitate to recommend highly. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House Australia for the opportunity to read and review Julietta Henderson’s sincerely, me.

  8. It took me a while to get into this book and understand what was going on however it was an enjoyable read. The characters were well formed, and I felt like I knew them. The book is filled with sadness and hope, but there is also joy as well. It is fairly light to read but does touch on some heavy themes, many of which you are left to interpret for yourself. Overall some good messages to take away. I enjoyed the read but not necessarily a book for me.

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