Reviewed on 18th July 2019

Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove

Genre: Contemporary / Fiction / Women's Fiction
Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove Synopsis

Life can change in a heartbeat…

When struggling actress Heidi has a life-changing accident aged 32, her world falls apart. Stuck in hospital and unable to walk, her only companion is Maud, the elderly lady in the bed next to hers. Heidi misses her flatmate, her life, her freedom – surely 32 is too young to be an amputee?

But when Maud’s aloof but attractive grandson Jack pays a visit to the ward, Heidi realises that her life isn’t over just because it’s different. It might not look like the life she dreamed of, but it’s the one she’s got – and there’s a lot she still wants to tick off her bucket list. With Jack at her side, will Heidi take the first step back to happiness? Or is there one more surprise still in store…?

A feel-good read based on the inspiring true story of journalist Ella Dove. Sometimes all it takes is one small step…

Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove Review

Thought-provoking and Uplifting

With so much negativity spreading across our screens and infiltrating our ears these days, it’s so refreshing to read a book that leaves you feeling hopeful.

Five Steps to Happy by Ella Dove does exactly that.

Although this novel is not a true story, it is based on events that happened to the author, Ella Dove.

Heidi is out jogging one day, just a normal day when a freak accident sees her trip and fall on a canal path. She dislocates her knee so badly, that she ends up having to have her leg amputated.

In many ways, I feel the book is written to show the progression of not only Heidi’s character but a path she must follow towards acceptance.

Part one sees Heidi left utterly devastated and having to navigate her new life. Coming to terms with a prosthetic leg and moving through her new life, which now includes visits to a rehab unit in Lambeth. Her whole life has been altered by one very small action and it takes a while for her to come to terms with that.

In a way, as a reader, we are pulled through typical patterns of grief. Essentially, Heidi has to grieve her old life and what she must leave behind to be able to embrace a new shape of the world in front of her.

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Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Poor Heidi experiences facets of them all.

In part two, her friend Jack helps her to see life a little differently and Heidi makes a list of things she wants to achieve to help her find the joy in her life again. This list is her Five Steps to Happy.

This book is one that will stay with me for a very very long time. Heidi’s resilience and ability to see the good in the world after such a random moment that changed her life… it’s remarkable. Told delicately and with so much love and heart, this is a book that found a space in my heart, pitched up a tent and remains a part of me even today. I placed the book back on my shelf knowing that I won’t take the small moments for granted anymore. Never again will I lace up my running shoes without being grateful for the pain I am able to put myself through.

If you are looking for a book that will truly make you appreciate life – this is one to pick up. Beautifully written, perfectly balanced and Ella has created a character in Heidi that I wanted to befriend for life.

Many thanks to Orion Trapeze and Tracy at Compulsive Readers for inviting us onto this tour.

Published by: Orion Trapeze
ISBN: 978-140918-456-0

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