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The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: Perfect for fans of uplifting book club fiction

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Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it's not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with. Dodging doctor's orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it's not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with. Dodging doctor's orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant as they realize that together they have lived an astonishing one hundred years. To celebrate their shared century, they decide to paint their life stories: of growing old and staying young, of giving joy, of receiving kindness, of losing love, of finding the person who is everything. As their extraordinary friendship deepens, it becomes vividly clear that life is not done with Lenni and Margot yet. Fiercely alive, disarmingly funny and brimming with tenderness, THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT unwraps the extraordinary gift of life even when it is about to be taken away, and revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we need them most


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Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it's not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with. Dodging doctor's orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it's not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with. Dodging doctor's orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant as they realize that together they have lived an astonishing one hundred years. To celebrate their shared century, they decide to paint their life stories: of growing old and staying young, of giving joy, of receiving kindness, of losing love, of finding the person who is everything. As their extraordinary friendship deepens, it becomes vividly clear that life is not done with Lenni and Margot yet. Fiercely alive, disarmingly funny and brimming with tenderness, THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT unwraps the extraordinary gift of life even when it is about to be taken away, and revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we need them most

30 review for The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: Perfect for fans of uplifting book club fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin  Seventeen year old Lenni is never going to leave the hospital alive. She has a terminal illness and is on her last legs, fighting not to let go of all that she is, despite the drugs and the ravages of the disease on her body and mind. Lenni is alive and she wants to live, even if living has to be done in a hospital, with it's rule, restrictions, and overworked and uninterested nurses (I'm looking at you, Jackie). But Lenni has friends, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin  Seventeen year old Lenni is never going to leave the hospital alive. She has a terminal illness and is on her last legs, fighting not to let go of all that she is, despite the drugs and the ravages of the disease on her body and mind. Lenni is alive and she wants to live, even if living has to be done in a hospital, with it's rule, restrictions, and overworked and uninterested nurses (I'm looking at you, Jackie). But Lenni has friends, people who love the light she brings into their lives.  Eighty three year old Margot is at the same hospital due to heart problems that required surgery and will require more surgery. Lenni and Margot first catch sight of each other as Margot is trying to fish something out of a recycling bin and Lenni distracts the porter and nurse so that Margot can accomplish her rescue effort. Later Lenni gets herself enrolled in the art class for eighty years and up so that she can spend time with Margot. Margot and Lenni decide to record their combined 100 years of life with their artwork. Margot is a talented artist and for her 83 years of life Lenni records the stories that Margot tells with each picture she creates. Lenni's artwork is not of the same artistic talent but I would love to have gotten to see the pictures she made of her 17 years.  This story is so full of life and a lot of the story relates to Margot's journey, a story of a beloved father devastated by war, a young marriage torn apart by the heartache of loss, an unrequited love, another deep and shared love of 30 years, and more. Through Margot's pictures and stories, Lenni is able to live a life she will never have but she also allows Margot to reflect on what has passed and what she wants to do, if she survives her next surgery.  I loved Lenni. She's so smart, so perceptive, so alive, and so grown up. One of her best friends is Father Arthur and he is just as important to her as Margot. She pushes him for answers and won't take trite platitudes from him...she forces him to admit he doesn't know, that he doesn't have answers to her very important questions.  Despite the fact that this story made me cry, I'm so glad that I read it. I was sad that Lenni had to be the adult at the end, when it came to her and her father. I was sad when Lenni would talk of telling her grandchildren about this or that, as if she had that kind of future. I was sad for what would never be for Lenni. But this story made me happy, too. It celebrates the good in people and how they make life worth living.  Publication: June, 2021 Thank you to Harper Perennial and Paperbacks and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Set in the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, Marianne Cronin's debut novel is sprinkled with magic and star dust as it relates the intergenerational friendship and love that develops between the vibrant, full of life, Swedish born, 17 year old Lenni Pettersson and 83 year old Margot Macrae. Lenni is a resident of the May ward, for those with life limiting/terminal illnesses, she goes searching for answers for fundamental philosophical questions of life from Father Arthur, her candour a joy to beh Set in the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, Marianne Cronin's debut novel is sprinkled with magic and star dust as it relates the intergenerational friendship and love that develops between the vibrant, full of life, Swedish born, 17 year old Lenni Pettersson and 83 year old Margot Macrae. Lenni is a resident of the May ward, for those with life limiting/terminal illnesses, she goes searching for answers for fundamental philosophical questions of life from Father Arthur, her candour a joy to behold and have a host of characters enter her life, providing her with a family she could hardly have forseen. Whilst her life is to be cruelly cut short at such a young age, she is to metaphorically live a longer one through the experience of the joys, love, losses, and grief of Margot's well lived life, who is in hospital for heart surgery. It is Lenni who notes that the combined age of her and Margot adds up to 100 years, and comes up with the inspirational idea of them painting a picture for each year of their lives, accompanied with the key stories and events in their lives, ensuring their lives intertwine ever more closely with each other. They are there for each other whenever the need arises, as they paint in the Rose room, for their art therapy classes run by art teacher, Pippa, with Lenni becoming an honorary member of the octogenarians art group. Lenni's curious, kind, irreverent, wise and artful spirit of honesty brings chaos and commotion in her wake, but attracts a circle of friends and 'family' that counters the isolation and loneliness of her life. Apart from Father Arthur and Margot, they include New Nurse, Paul the Porter, Pippa and Sunny, the security guard, although there is one fly in the ointment in the unsympathetic character of Nurse Jacky. Margot's paintings acquaint us with her first kiss with Johnny, a devastatingly desperate loss that sends her to London, her fateful and key meeting with Meena, her marriage to the offbeat astronomer, Humphrey and so much more. Through Lenni's artwork, we learn of her childhood, the mental health issues of her mother, her move to Glasgow at 7 years old, her continuous outsider status in life that persists through her school life, right up to what is important to her in the present, living under the shadow of death. Cronin's quirky characterisations are stellar in all their complexity, there are tears, heartbreak, grief, loss and drama in this engaging storytelling, but this is skilfully interspersed with the love, friendship, humour and joy, a blend that makes this an unforgettable, heart tugging debut. A read that will melt the hardest of hearts. Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** I’m thankful for my early reviewer friends who loved this book, as it wasn’t really on my radar. Meaningful and wonderfully written books aren’t easy to find!! This debut novel by Ms.Cronin is extraordinary. Lenni is 17 years old, she is dying. Margot is 83 years old, she is awaiting heart surgery. These two normally would not have had occasion to meet each other. However because of their health status, both find themselves occupants of wards near each other in the “G ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** I’m thankful for my early reviewer friends who loved this book, as it wasn’t really on my radar. Meaningful and wonderfully written books aren’t easy to find!! This debut novel by Ms.Cronin is extraordinary. Lenni is 17 years old, she is dying. Margot is 83 years old, she is awaiting heart surgery. These two normally would not have had occasion to meet each other. However because of their health status, both find themselves occupants of wards near each other in the “Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital.” As you will quickly find out, these two bond over a project that they envision. There is a new art therapy room, The Rose Room, which has just opened. It is Lenni who comments that between the two of them they have lived 100 years. I loved this comment by Margot “Into a room full of octogenarians she strode, with a confidence beyond her years. She was fierce, thin, with that bright blond hair of Nordic children. She had a face full of mischief and a pair of pink pajamas”. Margot and Lenni start to draw, paint and tell stories about the years of their lives. Lenni will tell us about her first kiss, her alcoholic mother, the father who ultimately leaves her. Margot will tell us about her first love, her marriage to a wonderful man, Humphrey, and the chickens they treated as their own children! Humphrey was also an astronomer and Margot learned to love the clear country sky. Margot loves gazing at the stars and on a cold clear night, Margot leads Lenni outside the hospital doors and into a quiet area. There they gaze at the millions of stars. When telling Lenni that the stars “that we see the clearest are already dead” Lenni states “Well that’s depressing”. “No, she said gently, it’s not depressing, it’s beautiful. They’ve been gone for who knows how long, but we can still see them. They live on”. There are other characters that are also wonderfully described, the New Nurse, who befriends Lenni, sits on her bed and chats as though they are old friends. Father Arthur, the hospital chaplain, is a kind, thoughtful soul. He struggles at times to answer all of Lenni’s questions with honesty and often finds that he is still searching for answers himself. There were many times that I laughed out loud and times when I felt really sad. I felt such anger also that Lenni, this lovely, witty, wonderful young woman got so few years to live. I was so glad that her last months were lived as well as they could be, surrounded by new friends and loved by many! This novel is set to publish on June 1, 2021. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    In this moving debut novel, you will find characters with wisdom and heart who care about each other, trust each other. The friendships here are beautiful,the kind we all hope for in our lifetime. Amid the beauty of these friendships at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, you’ll find what exists at any hospital anywhere. There’s sickness and despair, grief and loss and death. Lenni is seventeen and is in the terminal ward, now called “life limiting”, perhaps gentler on the ears, but in reality In this moving debut novel, you will find characters with wisdom and heart who care about each other, trust each other. The friendships here are beautiful,the kind we all hope for in our lifetime. Amid the beauty of these friendships at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, you’ll find what exists at any hospital anywhere. There’s sickness and despair, grief and loss and death. Lenni is seventeen and is in the terminal ward, now called “life limiting”, perhaps gentler on the ears, but in reality there’s nothing gentle about dying, not when you’re seventeen with hopes of a lifetime ahead of you. It struck me right from the beginning that she was so lonely, without any visitors. As the novel progresses we discover why. It was heartening that she connects with eighty three year old Margot, a heart patient awaiting surgery. A loving relationship develops between them as they join forces in their one hundred years, the total of their ages by taking an art class and painting memories of years in their lives. But it isn’t just the paintings that have meaning, it is the stories behind them that they tell each other sharing memories, joyful and sad, of loss and love. This is how they become a light in each other’s life. Lenni makes other friends as well, including the elderly priest Father Arthur, who really can’t answer Lenni’s questions about life, death and God. But it doesn’t matter as another beautiful friendship is forged with Lenni bringing understanding and joy to Father Arthur. This is a sad story for sure and I shed a few tears, but I also smiled a lot and was so moved by what Lenni and Margot accomplish with their One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot. It’s one of those heartbreakingly sad stories that left me with a good feeling. I don’t know as this will win any literary awards (you never know, though), but these characters with their life stories won my heart and I can’t give it less than 5 stars . I will be watching for more by Marianne Cronin. I received an advanced copy of this book from Harper Perenial through Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    This is the touching and moving story of seventeen year old Lenni Petterson who is on May Ward of Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital and eighty three year old Margot who is awaiting heart surgery. Lenni is in the ‘terminal lounge’ with a ‘life limiting’ illness and so to commemorate key moments in their lives they set out to create 100 hundred paintings in the art room run by the lovely Pippa. Through the evolution of the paintings we learn the story of their lives. Where to start with this superb This is the touching and moving story of seventeen year old Lenni Petterson who is on May Ward of Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital and eighty three year old Margot who is awaiting heart surgery. Lenni is in the ‘terminal lounge’ with a ‘life limiting’ illness and so to commemorate key moments in their lives they set out to create 100 hundred paintings in the art room run by the lovely Pippa. Through the evolution of the paintings we learn the story of their lives. Where to start with this superb debut? Probably best to begin with the beautiful characters. Lenni is simply wonderful, she’s funny, astutely observant and so clever. She makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time which takes real skill to write. Margot is fabulous and has had a fascinating life, as although she’s experienced tragedy and loss she’s also experienced deep love and friendship through her lovely husband Humphrey and her friend Meena. Their story is beautifully written (no wonder it took six years!) with their lives emerging through the paintings. The growing friendship between Lenni and Margot is a thing of beauty, they are both wonderful in different ways. Margot enriches the last few months of Lenni’s life as does Father Arthur from the hospital chapel. I love how Lenni challenges him with her questions about religion and her out there original thinking but to dying Lenni these are very relevant questions. He deals with her so carefully and thoughtfully and falls under Lenni’s spell too as most characters do apart from the charisma bypass, jobsworth Nurse Jackie. Shame on you Jackie! This is a wonderful and beautiful story despite the fact that Lenni is dying, she’s living her last months with as much joy as she can. It captivates, grabs you by the heartstrings and makes you laugh out loud at some of a Lenni’s actions and innovative thinking. The ending is a deeply emotional tear jerker and really touches you as you feel as if you have become friends with the characters. Ensure tissues at the ready. Overall, a remarkable debut showing how age is no barrier to friendship and a connection that grows to love. It takes genuine literary talent to make a reader laugh and cry at the same time. This deserves to be a best seller and I highly recommend it. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Random House UK Transworld Publishers/Doubleday and to the author for a beautiful novel.

  6. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    5★ “‘Am I in it?’ she asked. ‘If you were, would you want to read it?’ ‘Of course!’ ‘Then no, you’re not in it.’ ‘I am in it, really, aren’t I?’ ‘Who can say?’ I said. She got off my bed and slipped her shoes back on. ‘If I’m in it, can you make me taller?’ I just gave her a look. ‘Goodnight, Lenni,’ she said. And she left me alone with my diary. To write about her.” “New Nurse” has been visiting Lenni in the May Ward. She is Lenni’s favourite nurse, a flamboyant woman whom Lenni met when New Nurse 5★ “‘Am I in it?’ she asked. ‘If you were, would you want to read it?’ ‘Of course!’ ‘Then no, you’re not in it.’ ‘I am in it, really, aren’t I?’ ‘Who can say?’ I said. She got off my bed and slipped her shoes back on. ‘If I’m in it, can you make me taller?’ I just gave her a look. ‘Goodnight, Lenni,’ she said. And she left me alone with my diary. To write about her.” “New Nurse” has been visiting Lenni in the May Ward. She is Lenni’s favourite nurse, a flamboyant woman whom Lenni met when New Nurse escorted her to the chapel. She had “cherry red hair, which clashed with her blue uniform like there was no tomorrow. She’d only been on the May Ward a matter of days and she was nervous, especially around the airport children … I loved this one! I wouldn’t change a thing. Lenni is 17 and is in the May Ward of the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital because she has a terminal disease. Ooops, sorry. Lenni tells us staff are supposed to say “life-limiting” now instead of terminal – and anyway, terminal makes her think of an airport terminal. Note her reference to the airport children, above. She is bright and funny and openly questioning of everything. Her interactions with the hospital chaplain, the gentle Father Arthur, are both amusing and thought-provoking for both of them. She visits the chapel only because she has discovered they have to let her go there if she wants to – religious reasons, and all that. A brief escape from the May Ward. “‘So tell me, Lenni, what brings you to the chapel today?’ ‘I’m thinking about buying a second-hand BMW.’ He didn’t know what to do with that, so he picked up the Bible from the pew beside him, thumbed through it without looking at the pages, and put it down again.” Poor, lovely Father Arthur. He is a delight. Then there is The Temp. The story is told from Lenni’s point of view, except she tells us about The Temp from the third person point of view, and for some reason, it works. The Temp plays an important role because she wants to open an Art Room for the patients, and this is where Lenni meets 83-year-old Margot. Their combined age of 100 inspires a plan to produce 100 pieces of art to celebrate each year, and as they paint, they share stories from their past. Lenni’s are of her early childhood in Sweden, while Margot’s cover a much longer life history. Some memories come easily, but some are difficult, especially one of Margot’s. “‘Why don’t you skip it?’ I asked. She looked at me from a faraway place. ‘You know,’ I said, ‘move on to the next year?’ She stared down at her paper mirror. ‘I can’t.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Because everything that happens next . . .’ She stopped. She seemed so small that I wanted to scoop her up and lay her down in a pile of soft toys and cushions, and cover her in a warm blanket.” I read a preview sample from BuzzBooks, so I knew to expect good writing and humour, but I didn’t expect such a detailed and thorough history of Margot’s long and interesting life. She tells Lenni stories with each of her paintings, and Lenni sometimes describes how the painting shows, for example, the stars. Margot had fallen in love with a star-gazer who was fond of quoting poetry to her, particularly “The Old Astronomer to His Pupil” by Sarah Williams that ends with this wonderful stanza. “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” It is perfect for this story of love and friendship and the understandable nervousness about “the night” that faces us all, not just Lenni and Margot. Do not be afraid - read it! Thanks so much to NetGalley and Transworld Publishers for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.

  7. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    5 get the Kleenex stars This one has two amazing characters as you might guess from the title -- and both are terminally ill. Lenni is only 17 but her heart is giving out and Margot is 83, together they have 100 years of life! They meet in the hospital and develop a friendship in art class. They embark on an amazing project, a painting for each year of their lives. Along the way they tell their stories to go along with each painting and we get to know their whole life story. An unlikely but sweet 5 get the Kleenex stars This one has two amazing characters as you might guess from the title -- and both are terminally ill. Lenni is only 17 but her heart is giving out and Margot is 83, together they have 100 years of life! They meet in the hospital and develop a friendship in art class. They embark on an amazing project, a painting for each year of their lives. Along the way they tell their stories to go along with each painting and we get to know their whole life story. An unlikely but sweet and powerful friendship. Lenni also befriends the priest at the hospital and I loved their interactions. She has some hilarious questions and challenging conversations for him. I love how she wants to start a marketing campaign to drum up more business for him. This one was a quiet build and by the end I was ugly crying, yes, for what you might think, but also for this beautiful friendship. Thank you to my generous local library for the copy of this one to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kerrin P

    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margo by Marianne Cronin is a heart-warming, funny, and sometimes tear-producing story of a unique friendship. It is a celebration of life and friendship amid the saddest of circumstances. Lenni, age 17, has a “life-limiting” cancer and is staying in what she calls the terminal lounge of the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. She has been left there by strangely absent parents. The head nurse in her ward is uncaring and sometimes cruel. Lenni has little in common The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margo by Marianne Cronin is a heart-warming, funny, and sometimes tear-producing story of a unique friendship. It is a celebration of life and friendship amid the saddest of circumstances. Lenni, age 17, has a “life-limiting” cancer and is staying in what she calls the terminal lounge of the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. She has been left there by strangely absent parents. The head nurse in her ward is uncaring and sometimes cruel. Lenni has little in common with the other patients who are her age. She finds companionship with the hospital Chaplin, Father Arthur. Lenni is quick-witted and her conversations with him about death are often humorous. Father Arthur is unruffled by her questions and is always honest in his answers. However, he is about to retire and be replaced by a less tolerant priest. Margot, age 83, has a serious heart condition. She had one surgery and is staying in the hospital until she is strong enough for a second surgery. Margot is a talented artist, so when the new Rose Room art studio opens in the hospital, she is one of the first to sign up for the over 80 class. She is very surprised when the young Lenni confidently marches into this octogenarian class and makes herself at home. When Lenni realizes that she and Margot have been alive a combined 100 years, they embark on a journey to make 100 paintings to celebrate their lives. The two begin telling each other the stories of their lives as they paint. We learn where Lenni’s parents are, her childhood traumas, about her first kiss, etc. Margot has lead an interesting life with two marriages, but neither to the love of her life. As Lenni’s inevitable death draws near, she is comforted by Margot’s stories and the knowledge that their paintings will help them be remembered. I was a bit perplexed by the Scottish hospital system where a heart patient is allowed to stay over 4 months between surgeries. Other than that, I found this story endearing. These characters will stay with me for a long while. 4.5-Stars. Book club recommended. I listened to the Harper Audio production which is beautifully narrated by Sheila Reid and Rebecca Benson. (I am a sucker for Scottish accents). It was 10 hours and 53 minutes. The paperback is 352 pages. The book was first published on June 1, 2021.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A beautiful story! Lenni 17, is in the hospital with a terminal illness. Margot is 82, also in the hospital for a prolonged stay. They end up in a new art class the hospital started for patients and they become friendly. Lenni realizes that their combined ages will soon be 100. They paint pictures for the years of their lives and during these times.. they tell each other the stories of their lives so far. I just loved this book and Lenni’s relationship with Margot and also with the hospital chaplain. S A beautiful story! Lenni 17, is in the hospital with a terminal illness. Margot is 82, also in the hospital for a prolonged stay. They end up in a new art class the hospital started for patients and they become friendly. Lenni realizes that their combined ages will soon be 100. They paint pictures for the years of their lives and during these times.. they tell each other the stories of their lives so far. I just loved this book and Lenni’s relationship with Margot and also with the hospital chaplain. Story of friendship and how friends become family.. a story of love ❤️

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Lenni is a teenager with a terminal illness. She’s living in the hospital where she meets Margot, who is in her 80s and also at the hospital awaiting surgery. They each share their life stories - full and beautiful life stories. As they share, their friendship grows. Lenni and Margot’s story definitely made me cry a few times, and the journey was worth every tear. This book isn’t just about Lenni’s terminal illness. It’s about the depth of friendship and love, overcoming immense grief, and the be Lenni is a teenager with a terminal illness. She’s living in the hospital where she meets Margot, who is in her 80s and also at the hospital awaiting surgery. They each share their life stories - full and beautiful life stories. As they share, their friendship grows. Lenni and Margot’s story definitely made me cry a few times, and the journey was worth every tear. This book isn’t just about Lenni’s terminal illness. It’s about the depth of friendship and love, overcoming immense grief, and the beauty in humanity. I received a gifted copy from the publisher. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    Beautiful. This book is the ultimate celebration of life, friendship, loss, and love. Yes, those are big topics but this book handles the subject wonderfully. Readers who enjoy books by Ruth Hogan and Frederik Backman will love this one. Lenni is seventeen and living on the terminal ward of a hospital, and Margot is 83. The two become acquainted in the art room, and discover that their ages equal 100 years. They decide to tell stories and do paintings for each year of their lives to honor those 1 Beautiful. This book is the ultimate celebration of life, friendship, loss, and love. Yes, those are big topics but this book handles the subject wonderfully. Readers who enjoy books by Ruth Hogan and Frederik Backman will love this one. Lenni is seventeen and living on the terminal ward of a hospital, and Margot is 83. The two become acquainted in the art room, and discover that their ages equal 100 years. They decide to tell stories and do paintings for each year of their lives to honor those 100 years. I adored both Lenni and Margot, and all of the other friends that come in and out of their lives in the past and the present. I appreciated Father Arthur and his gentle spirit, allowing Lenni to ask questions and not feeling like he had to rush in with the answers. I definitely cried towards the end, but mostly because this book made me really think about the friendships I have had throughout my life and how I can use my life to make a difference in the lives of others, if only in a simple way. If only we could all be a little more like Lenni sometimes. Highly recommended. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    NZLisaM

    ‘Between us,’ I said quietly, ‘we're a hundred years old.’ Lenni is seventeen years old and terminally ill. Margot is eighty-three and awaiting heart surgery. Both are patients at Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. An amusing chance encounter between Lenni and Margot, followed by an actual meeting in the new art therapy class sees an unlikely blossoming friendship form. Together they decide to paint one hundred paintings, each representing a story from their combined lives – 83 pictures fo ‘Between us,’ I said quietly, ‘we're a hundred years old.’ Lenni is seventeen years old and terminally ill. Margot is eighty-three and awaiting heart surgery. Both are patients at Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. An amusing chance encounter between Lenni and Margot, followed by an actual meeting in the new art therapy class sees an unlikely blossoming friendship form. Together they decide to paint one hundred paintings, each representing a story from their combined lives – 83 pictures for Margot, 17 for Lenni, 100 in total. This was a beautifully-written inspiring story of hope, destiny, wisdom and spiritual awareness, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot focused on living life to the fullest, no matter how much time you have left. It was about making peace with your own mortality, finding a place where you belong, and that family is not always blood-related. Sharing and preserving their best and worst memories helped Lenni and Margot define what moments of their lives they truly cherished, and reconcile with those that were painful. Our narrator Lenni (who also recorded every story in her diary because she felt she lacked artistic talent) had every right to be angry or bitter, yet she approached every situation with optimism, a sense of humour, altruism, curiosity, and most importantly, an openness to love. Margot was a true free spirit, who had faced her fair share of grief and loss with strength and grace. Both were there for one another at a time when they needed one another most. The hospital contained its fair share of quirky, memorable characters, and it wasn't just the bond between the two main protagonists that stood out for me. There were other relationships that were just as warm, and genuine – stories centered within the walls of the wards equally as deep and moving as the memories Lenni and Margot shared. Be advised there were some weepy moments, and I struggled to read the last few pages because my vision kept blurring. I was deeply affected by The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot, and you will be too. I'd like to thank Netgalley, Doubleday, and Marianne Cronin for the e-ARC. Publication Date: 18th February, 2021.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    The introspective ‘questions’ about living and dying is what I found most compelling. I especially enjoyed the dialogue conversations between Lenni and Reverend Author about ‘why’ was Lenni dying — at age 17. Reverend Author said he was better with ‘what’, ‘who’ , and ‘how’ questions, more than ‘why’ questions. But their conversation about life and death was interesting without being religious. Yet…in other parts of this novel, I felt there was more reference to Jesus and God than I prefer. I app The introspective ‘questions’ about living and dying is what I found most compelling. I especially enjoyed the dialogue conversations between Lenni and Reverend Author about ‘why’ was Lenni dying — at age 17. Reverend Author said he was better with ‘what’, ‘who’ , and ‘how’ questions, more than ‘why’ questions. But their conversation about life and death was interesting without being religious. Yet…in other parts of this novel, I felt there was more reference to Jesus and God than I prefer. I appreciate the themes explored — and the connection between Lenni and Margot (their friendship)— both dying— but for some reason I was often emotionally removed from the deeper feelings of death. Intellectually, I’m aware this was a tearjerker novel… but I felt “The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot”, could have been 100-less pages. That said… this was still a tender story. Lenni was adorable-inquisitive- and ‘funny’…. It’s a sad beautiful story…. I liked it enough. Ok…. one more thing: and not the books fault — but I’ve read a few books recently that I soooo passionately loved, [“The Paper Palace”, and a few others], that I find myself still wishing for that ‘gut-exciting’ rush-read. Most readers have absolutely loved this story. As I said - Iiked it — ‘nough’ said.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Provin Martin

    Oh the TEARS!!!! 😭 tears of sadness, happiness and delight in having read this book! Margot and Lenni are both dying. They spend their days in the hospital together painting and sharing the stories of the 100 years their combined lives have lived. Lenny is 17, Margot is 83. One life barely lived, the other having lived a life untrue to herself. This beautifully written, heartwarming book touched me in ways I cannot describe. I’m not usually one to go for a book full of sadness, but in reality thi Oh the TEARS!!!! 😭 tears of sadness, happiness and delight in having read this book! Margot and Lenni are both dying. They spend their days in the hospital together painting and sharing the stories of the 100 years their combined lives have lived. Lenny is 17, Margot is 83. One life barely lived, the other having lived a life untrue to herself. This beautifully written, heartwarming book touched me in ways I cannot describe. I’m not usually one to go for a book full of sadness, but in reality this book is full of the happy/sadness that we all need in our lives. 💓

  15. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Lenni is an inquisitive and funny 17-year-old girl. She is also terminally ill. The Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital is now her home. When she meets Margot, a gravely ill, 83-year-old fellow patient, they form a close bond. Lenni is intrigued by the fact that their combined ages total 100 years. Together in their art therapy class, they decide to create 100 paintings to document each year of their lives. Through the details behind each of the paintings, we learn their stories. The One Hundred Yea Lenni is an inquisitive and funny 17-year-old girl. She is also terminally ill. The Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital is now her home. When she meets Margot, a gravely ill, 83-year-old fellow patient, they form a close bond. Lenni is intrigued by the fact that their combined ages total 100 years. Together in their art therapy class, they decide to create 100 paintings to document each year of their lives. Through the details behind each of the paintings, we learn their stories. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is not a book about illness – it is a joyous, heartfelt and sometimes funny story about life. The two unlikely friends provide strength to one another as they face the inevitable. In addition to Lenni and Margot, there is a wonderful cast of characters who add warmth, depth and humor to this incredible tale. Author Marianne Cronin has written a beautiful, emotional book that will surprise you and will stay with you for a long time. And yes, you will cry. Rated 4.5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    4.5 Stars Lenni is seventeen, terminally ill, motherless, and although her father visits her, albeit infrequently, his visits just make it harder on her. He’s miserable when he visits, watching her and knowing there is nothing he can do to prevent her from dying, and she isn’t up to the burden of cheering him up, so she tells him not to visit again. There is nothing new or exciting about her days, so she decides to go to the hospital chapel, not because she is religious, but because she can. ’I w 4.5 Stars Lenni is seventeen, terminally ill, motherless, and although her father visits her, albeit infrequently, his visits just make it harder on her. He’s miserable when he visits, watching her and knowing there is nothing he can do to prevent her from dying, and she isn’t up to the burden of cheering him up, so she tells him not to visit again. There is nothing new or exciting about her days, so she decides to go to the hospital chapel, not because she is religious, but because she can. ’I went to meet God because it’s one of the only things I can do here. People say that when you die, it’s because God is calling you back to him, so I thought I’d get the introduction over and done with ahead of time….I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see a room I’d not yet been in and meet the Almighty in one go. This is how one of the first people she meets, other than the same nurses in and out of her room throughout the day, is a priest. Father Arthur. It isn’t that she considers herself religious, or doesn’t, it’s complicated. She views God as ’a cosmic wishing well who sometimes grants her wishes, and sometimes doesn’t. She attempts to try Father Arthur’s patience, answering his questions with a somewhat sarcastic, mocking response. Eventually, she lets down her walls, leaving the sarcasm behind when he asks her to tell him what her real question is, so that they can figure out how God can help them find the answer. It is when she meets Margot in the Rose Room, the designated name for the room for art therapy, where she begins to find someone else she can bond with, a bond formed over their combined ages. When Lenni signs her name and age, 17 years old, on a combined art project with Margot, she sees their combined ages, a magical number to her. ’Numbers don’t mean a lot to me. I don’t care about long division or percentages. I don’t know my height or my weight and I can’t remember my dad’s phone number, though I know I used to know it. I prefer words. Delicious, glorious words. But there were two numbers in front of me that mattered, and would matter for the rest of my numbered days. “Between us,” I say quietly, “we’re a hundred years old.”’ There is more to this story, but essentially, this is a lovely debut that is about living life fully, despite knowing that this life is finite. Filled with the joys of life, of love, it is an ode to living life fully, as joyfully as possible, celebrating life on your own terms. Many thanks to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    OMG! This book is so absolutely wonderful! I laughed & I cried (& I mean I proper sobbed)!! It is sad & it is beautiful & it is full of the joys of the people in our lives & the impact they have on us. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)

    “Life is short - no one knows that better than 17 year-old Lenni Petterssen. On the Terminal ward, the nurses are offering their condolences already, but Lenni still has plenty of living to do. When she meets 83-year-old Margot, a fellow patient offering new friendship and enviable artistic skills, Lenni's life begins to soar in ways she'd never imagined. As their bond deepens, a world of stories opens up: of wartime love and loss, of misunderstanding and reconciliation, of courage, kindness and “Life is short - no one knows that better than 17 year-old Lenni Petterssen. On the Terminal ward, the nurses are offering their condolences already, but Lenni still has plenty of living to do. When she meets 83-year-old Margot, a fellow patient offering new friendship and enviable artistic skills, Lenni's life begins to soar in ways she'd never imagined. As their bond deepens, a world of stories opens up: of wartime love and loss, of misunderstanding and reconciliation, of courage, kindness and joy. Stories that have led them to the end of their days....” Where do I begin? Wow! So many thoughts and feelings are flying through my heart and head right now after just finishing “The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot”. I had a suspicion this would be a profoundly poignant and thought provoking book but it went much deeper than that and took a hold of my heart and squeezed it dry from the very first page. Really, it’s just so hard to describe how I felt reading about Lenni and Margot, an unlikely cross-generational friendship sharing one hundred years of memories between them, depicted in glorious drawings and paintings. The vividness of the stories told were incredible and every day of both their lives felt like I was walking hand in hand with them every step of the way. I was astonished to learn that this book was written by a debut author. Marianne Cronin admits herself it took her six years to complete this novel and it was wholeheartedly worth the wait. Lenni and Margot will be forever etched on my memory and on learning that this book is being adapted into a movie by a top Hollywood studio, I wait with bated breath for this touching tale to come to life on the big screen. Sheer literary perfection! A must read for 2021. 5 (plus) stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Corina

    I've heard so much about this book, and I'm only 30 min into the book and already loving it. Update: I was warned that I would need tissues, and indeed I needed them. I bawled my eyes out!!! The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot read almost like a historical fiction novel to me. Mostly because of Margot's life stories. She had such an interesting life. But her friendship with Lenni was my favorite, touching, moving and of course utterly heartbreaking. And Lenni was such a wonderful character. I've heard so much about this book, and I'm only 30 min into the book and already loving it. Update: I was warned that I would need tissues, and indeed I needed them. I bawled my eyes out!!! The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot read almost like a historical fiction novel to me. Mostly because of Margot's life stories. She had such an interesting life. But her friendship with Lenni was my favorite, touching, moving and of course utterly heartbreaking. And Lenni was such a wonderful character. She was full of life, and her questions, especially to the priest, made me crack up. I actually wanted to read more of her. Although I cried ugly tears, I'm glad I picked it up.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ellery Adams

    This is a book to read slowly, in sips, like a fine wine. The whole experience felt like turning scrapbook pages and listening to the stories behind the faces as one face in particular changed from that of a young girl to an old woman. This is a novel about the hardship and beauty of everyday life. It's lovely and sad and you should keep the tissues handy for the final third. The characters stayed with me for days after I finished—evidence of Ms. Cronin's remarkable writing. This is a book to read slowly, in sips, like a fine wine. The whole experience felt like turning scrapbook pages and listening to the stories behind the faces as one face in particular changed from that of a young girl to an old woman. This is a novel about the hardship and beauty of everyday life. It's lovely and sad and you should keep the tissues handy for the final third. The characters stayed with me for days after I finished—evidence of Ms. Cronin's remarkable writing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    Firstly, I have to apologise. I am sorry to the next book I read following this. Because this is going to be the mother of all book hangovers. Lenni and Margot became my friends, I became utterly immersed in reading about their lives and I'm not ashamed to admit, I ugly cried for the last 45 minutes of it. Their personalities were so strong and portrayed so beautifully, I am surprised it is a work of fiction. Father Arthur (best character name ever) also became a character close to my heart, and Firstly, I have to apologise. I am sorry to the next book I read following this. Because this is going to be the mother of all book hangovers. Lenni and Margot became my friends, I became utterly immersed in reading about their lives and I'm not ashamed to admit, I ugly cried for the last 45 minutes of it. Their personalities were so strong and portrayed so beautifully, I am surprised it is a work of fiction. Father Arthur (best character name ever) also became a character close to my heart, and I adored the friendships between them. The purple cardigan spoke to me on a different level, my late mum used to have a purple cardigan. My sister and I still speak of it to this day, and it both broke and warmed my heart in equal mesaures. I think that sums up the feelings I have now it is over. It broke and warmed my heart in equal measures, and I am truly sad to say goodbye to Lenni and Margot.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    Life is Life — La la lalala Lenni, a 17 years old girl, is dying from a terminal disease! Why? Yes… why is she dying without even completing a quarter of human’s life expectancy?! Is there an answer to that?! And if there is, does it matter?! Would Lenni live longer if she knew why?!… Lenni, I don’t think you want to waste the rest of your short life asking frustrating questions, do you?! Life is a Gift that will remain with you until Death drops by to claim it. Could you please find a way to enjoy it b Life is Life — La la lalala Lenni, a 17 years old girl, is dying from a terminal disease! Why? Yes… why is she dying without even completing a quarter of human’s life expectancy?! Is there an answer to that?! And if there is, does it matter?! Would Lenni live longer if she knew why?!… Lenni, I don’t think you want to waste the rest of your short life asking frustrating questions, do you?! Life is a Gift that will remain with you until Death drops by to claim it. Could you please find a way to enjoy it before running into Death?! Hmmm?!… Moral of the Story: Life is Life — La la lalala 👍🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟👍

  23. 5 out of 5

    Apoorva

    Just reading the blurb has me so soft and emotional- Just reading the blurb has me so soft and emotional-

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    It can be difficult to capture tenderness without becoming saccharine, but Marianne Cronin walks that delicate path admirably.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is an emotional and unique story about a teenager and her new friend that meet on the terminal ward. Lenni and Margot are very different with very different lives. I really enjoyed reading about their unexpected friendship. They quickly form a strong friendship and share stories from their lives. They add the stories to a project compiling their one hundred years. This book is very emotional and I felt all different emotions throughout the book. Their fr The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is an emotional and unique story about a teenager and her new friend that meet on the terminal ward. Lenni and Margot are very different with very different lives. I really enjoyed reading about their unexpected friendship. They quickly form a strong friendship and share stories from their lives. They add the stories to a project compiling their one hundred years. This book is very emotional and I felt all different emotions throughout the book. Their friendship is heartwarming, and I loved hearing interesting stories from their lives. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is an excellent debut novel and I can’t wait to read Marianne Cronin’s future novels. I highly recommend The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot to anyone that likes emotional books about friendship. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Sheila Reid and Rebecca Benson and loved both narrators. They did a great job pulling me into Lenni and Margot’s stories. Thank you Harper Perennial and Harper Audio for The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. A truly beautiful story and I have never really described a book in that way before and there really is no other way that I can describe it. It was really wonderful to read the friendship between Lenni and Margot and also have their journey intertwined with stories from their pasts. I would highly recommend it, to anyone, to give this book a try. Kudos to the author for creating such a great debut novel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    The Question Lenni is 17 years old, has a gift for painting, is dying from a terminal disease and… wants to know why? Yes… why the heck is she dying without even completing a quarter of the average existence of a human being?! Can anyone tell her?! Better go straight to God. If He won’t answer, no one else will!! However, to talk to God, the best thing to do is finding a priest because priests are supposed to be the experts in the language of God, right?! Ergo, Lenni went to Father Arthur to pose him The Question Lenni is 17 years old, has a gift for painting, is dying from a terminal disease and… wants to know why? Yes… why the heck is she dying without even completing a quarter of the average existence of a human being?! Can anyone tell her?! Better go straight to God. If He won’t answer, no one else will!! However, to talk to God, the best thing to do is finding a priest because priests are supposed to be the experts in the language of God, right?! Ergo, Lenni went to Father Arthur to pose him the Question! However, instead of answering, the priest came up with a hint: If she wanted to know the reason for dying she first had to know the reason for living! And… the best thing to do to find a reason for living is… living And that’s what Lenni did: Instead of troubling herself and others with a question she couldn’t answer, she embraced her gift for painting and… celebrated the rest of her life exploring that talent… And now I believe you have all the tools to answer your own question, Lenni!!! Moral of the story: Once we leave our Digital Print to the Universe, what else is there to do?!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

    This story was so beautiful but heartbreaking also! Lenni is a 17 yr old who is in the hospital with a terminal illness, and meets Margot. Margot is in her 80s and in the hospital for heart surgery. They each share stories of life with eachother, and become friends. This story definitely made me cry, I'm not going to lie. But it also shows you about the beauty in life and friendship. I enjoyed spending time reading about their lives, and the secondary characters were also wonderful. I highly rec This story was so beautiful but heartbreaking also! Lenni is a 17 yr old who is in the hospital with a terminal illness, and meets Margot. Margot is in her 80s and in the hospital for heart surgery. They each share stories of life with eachother, and become friends. This story definitely made me cry, I'm not going to lie. But it also shows you about the beauty in life and friendship. I enjoyed spending time reading about their lives, and the secondary characters were also wonderful. I highly recommend this book, just have the tissues nearby! Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Whitaker

    i picked this one up because i was really interested in reading about a friendship that forms between two women of entirely different generations, but unfortunately the book didn't turn out to be all that i'd hoped. for one, the majority of the novel is spent looking back on Margot's life which, while fairly interesting, wasn't anything particularly special and also meant that hardly any time was spent exploring Lenni and Margot's friendship (how it came about, the kinds of conversations they ha i picked this one up because i was really interested in reading about a friendship that forms between two women of entirely different generations, but unfortunately the book didn't turn out to be all that i'd hoped. for one, the majority of the novel is spent looking back on Margot's life which, while fairly interesting, wasn't anything particularly special and also meant that hardly any time was spent exploring Lenni and Margot's friendship (how it came about, the kinds of conversations they have, how it develops, etc etc) in the present day. the whole narrative also just felt a bit unbalanced - we hear all about Margot's past but see hardly anything of her in the present, while we're stuck in Lenni's head in the present but don't get a great deal of insight into her past at all beyond a number of flashbacks. I found Lenni as a character to be very annoying at times too, largely because the author makes her sound like a child rather than a 17 year old. i thought the ending was really touching and i enjoyed some of the book's messages, but overall it turned out to be a bit disappointing and won't be one that sticks with me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    In the notes at the end of 'The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot', the author tells us that she spent 6 years writing this book. I can completely believe that. Her attention to detail and to tying up loose ends is impressive. Every little side-story is taken to completion and nothing is left hanging. Even the most minor characters - well not all, I don't know what happened to Paul the Porter, for example - gets their appropriate attention. As an example of this, I LOVED the story of the hom In the notes at the end of 'The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot', the author tells us that she spent 6 years writing this book. I can completely believe that. Her attention to detail and to tying up loose ends is impressive. Every little side-story is taken to completion and nothing is left hanging. Even the most minor characters - well not all, I don't know what happened to Paul the Porter, for example - gets their appropriate attention. As an example of this, I LOVED the story of the homeless Swedish man and his daughter which delivered a beautiful moment that was completely unexpected. This is an absolutely adorable book. I haven't read one recently where I felt as invested in the characters as I did with Lenni and Margot. The dying girl and the feisty old lady play out their 'present-day' within the confines of a hospital that neither of them can leave but find the kind of friendship and connection that leaves you feeling like the world truly is a better place. The cast of supporting characters - from the hospital chaplain who has to handle Lenni's sceptical questions to the 'new nurse' who never gets a name but is present throughout, to Jeremy the chicken and 'the Intern' - they are all beautifully engaged in the story. One thing I loved was the randomness of key events in the story. Margot meets the most important people in her life on a train that she shouldn't have been on if her date had turned up, in the middle of the road on a dark night, and in a police station when she'd gone to report a missing person. Similarly, Lenni finds Margot practically upside down in a wheelie bin. The two women - one 17-years old, the other 83 - form an inspiring friendship and create their own 'bucket-project' to create 100 pictures that celebrate their 100 years of life. Not only are they wonderful together, they inspire those around them in the most marvellous ways. Did I cry? No, of course not but there was a whopping great lump in my throat quite a few times in the final chapters. I was more focused on trying to celebrate the joy instead of mourning the losses. I only gave out three 5-star reviews on a total 2020 reading list of 160 books but I'm about to break that drought and hand out my first for 2021 just 11 days into the new year. Read it. It's just stunning. You won't regret it.

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