I wish I could say this year I will get all my reviews out before the scheduled publication date of the book, but that’s clearly not happening. That said, Annie Beaton’s Year of Positive Thinking by Mink Elliott was a surprisingly fun romp through the hot mess that its protagonist, Annie Beaton, has become in the aftermath of a divorce.
The divorce leaves Annie, a Londoner with two children, in the awkward position of being forced to relocate to the countryside and live with her kids in her aunt’s dilapidated cottage. Even though Annie is apprehensive of country living and terrified by what this forced life change means for her, she decides that the last thing she needs to do is make it worse with a negative outlook. Consequently, she tries to come up with three positive take-aways from each day. While she’s at it, Annie meets Charlotte, a beautiful woman who publishes a newsletter. Charlotte takes a chance on Annie and asks her to write an advice column for recent divorcées.
As Annie works on her column, she finds new confidence in herself by formulating the “Ten Commandments” for women in her situation.
Annie Beaton’s Year of Positive Thinking chronicles Annie’s imperfect journey through self-improvement. While the concept of the person most in need of our advice is usually the person we see in the mirror every morning isn’t a new one, Mink Elliott’s narrative is compassionate, sassy, and humorous.
Having just survived a particularly hellish week, this novel was a welcome relief for me, and I’m sorry to see it end. Is this great literature? No, but if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up, I definitely recommend this.