Author(s): Nina Stibbe
'When people in the village heard I was about to start working in the city they tried to unsettle me with tales of woe. The sun, blotted out by the tall buildings, couldn't shine and the rain was poisoned by the toxic fumes that poured from the sock factories. My skin would be covered in pimples from the hell of it all' So begins a young woman's journey to adulthood. Lizzie Vogel leaves her alcoholic, novel-writing mother and heads for Leicester to work for a racist, barely competent dentist obsessed with joining the freemasons. Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly, if at top speed, into the murky depths of adult life- where her driving instructor becomes her best friend; her first boyfriend prefers birdwatching to sex and where independence for a teenage girl might just be another word for loneliness. In Reasons to Be CheerfulNina Stibbe shows her extraordinary gift for illuminating the vital details which make us human. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of being alive.