As happy as here by Jane Godwin

‘We just have to be here, as happy as here, and do our best to deal with whatever comes along.’

This is one YA fiction that I wished I had read as a teenager. Filled with the possibilities of friendships – where we can find them and how they help us, mysteries to solve and overcoming adversities to see what life can be all about.

As happy as here by Jane Godwin is a coming of age novel takes us into the world of three young girls who are all stuck in hospital. Evie with a badly broken leg, Jemma with burst appendix and Lucy who is battling with Leukaemia.

The three girls are unlikely friends but soon bond over a common mystery – someone in the laneway below their hospital window is burying newspapers while another digs them up.

The girls through their developing friendship over come their fears in many different ways and investigate only to find they not only are close to solving the mystery but realising how unassuming friendships can be the ones which bring out the best in us.

This book will speak to young girls and hopefully allow them to see how important true friendships are. People who appreciate who you are, not what you can do or how you look.

Young readers will love the mystery to be solved and the links they can see within the characters to themselves or people they know.

But most importantly, this book will hopefully develop empathy. Empathy for those who might not have what we have, empathy for those who might not think the same way we do and empathy for those who make different choices.

As happy as here by Jane Godwin is a beautiful story. I loved the reference made to some great bands on Evie’s favourite playlist (namely The Killers and The Smith Street band), Jemma’s letter writing skills and Lucy’s drawings. It’s the quiet things sometimes that make us most thoughtful and happy.

Jane Godwin’s website:


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