Sincerely Me, a review by Joanna

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Sincerely Me

Julietta Henderson

Random House UK

368 pages

Published on February 23rd, 2023


Sincerely Me is a contemporary dramedy set in London by an Australian author who is new to me, about finding yourself, your lost family, and your new family. I’m trying to find more books in this UpLit genre, about friendship and non-romantic love, so had requested this after seeing some very positive reviews. At 25% in, I put it aside, as I really didn’t like the main character, selfish man child Danny and his mopy sister, Lou, but when I picked it up again was just when the characters start to evolve, and I got more into the story the further I went, so I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

Danny has just been arrested for drunkenly daubing the pavement outside the smart Belsize Park house, where he lodges in his best friend Dom’s garden shed, with graffiti that only he thought was clever. A photo finds its way into the local paper alongside an article describing him as a modern guru, leading to a new role as the paper’s agony uncle. Then his teenage niece Wolfie recognises the unusual name and tracks down the uncle she has never met, due to him falling out with her mother years before. Lou has just broken her leg, so kindhearted widower Dom invites them to move in with him, his exuberant six year old George and a very reluctant Danny. As the new housemates learn more about each other, secrets emerge to test their fragile new bonds. Can Danny grow up enough to be the brother and uncle his new family need?
This is told from Danny and Wolfie’s first person POVs, Danny in past tense and Wolfie in present tense (ugh.) As mentioned, it took me quite a while to warm to Danny, who’s a self-indulgent @rse, and I couldn’t understand why Dom puts up with him, whereas Wolfie made a likeable teen heroine, forced into adulthood by her mother’s fragility and selfishness. Six year old George was a hilarious comic character and there’s also a charming dog and a curmudgeonly neighbour. Everything turns out much as you’d expect, but I liked the way it ended especially as romance was hinted at but kept out of the epilogue and left to our imaginations. My favourite part was the letters Danny receives from the strangers who write to the paper asking for his help, and his surprisingly perceptive replies. Heartwarming and nicely written, this is recommended for those looking for a touching read about second chances. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.

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