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Thursday, 18 February 2021

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin


 Lenni is seventeen; Margot is eighty-three. They're an unlikely pair to become friends, but when they meet up at a hospital art class an instant bond forms between the two. 

Lenni knows she doesn't have long to live but with Margot around that doesn't seem to matter. Together they decide to paint a hundred pictures to mark their joint hundred years, to celebrate the lives they've lived rather than mourn the years they'll miss.

I think you'd expect that a story involving a teenager diagnosed with a terminal illness would be full of sadness. But Lenni herself isn't - she's full of life, enthusiasm and humour - and her story reflects that. Margot on the other hand seems to be someone who's always missed out on things in life, but with Lenni's encouragement she determines to make one last grab for happiness.

This is a lovely, life-affirming, heart-warming tale of an unusual friendship in unusual circumstances, and of two women finding out that it isn't the length of life that matters, but of making the most of the time we have.

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