For Lara and her daughter Eliza, it has always been just the two of them. But when Eliza turns eighteen and wants to connect with her father, Lara is forced to admit a secret that she has been keeping from her daughter her whole life.
Eliza needs answers – and so does Lara. Their journey to the truth will take them on a road trip across England and eventually to New York, where it all began. Dreams might have been broken and opportunities missed, but there are still surprises in store…
Anything Could Happen is a hugely relatable story about what-ifs, missed opportunities and the roads that, for one reason or another, our lives never followed. Brit Lara Spencer was a twenty-six-year-old fashion journalist in New York when she conceived Eliza after meeting Ben McManus, a man whom she expected to spend her future with. Their connection was undeniable but the arranged second date never happened and Lara returned to live in Scarborough with Ben unaware that he was destined to be a father. Fast-forward nineteen years and daughter Eliza is an eighteen-year-old with university on the horizon and furious that the man she was led to believe was her father and left when she was three, actually isn’t. Eliza wants answers and when Lara finally discloses what happened she is determined to track her real father down and introduce herself. Ben is not only flabbergasted to discover that he has a daughter but soon finds himself desperately scrambling to save his marriage to betrayed wife, Kirsten. As Eliza gets to know Ben and they start to bond, she can’t help but wonder what would happen if her parents hadn’t gone their separate ways and if there could be a second chance for them.
Revisiting her past and remembering the young woman she once was provides Lara with the perfect opportunity to take stock of her life and the ambitions that she set aside when she discovered she was pregnant.
Lara’s personality seems to have dulled as she’s gotten older, as she later admits herself, she has let herself go. It is as if she’s forgotten that she has a life too.
As for Eliza, I found her to be very immature even for an 18 year old. Some of her actions from the start makes you want to shake some sense into her.
How Ben reconsiders how his future turned on the death of his father and how he settled for a life that he could never have imagined. What I appreciated about this book was how Lucy Diamond considered the repercussions of these events on all three main parties with all the complications that real life entails. This was my first read of one of her books and I certainly understand why her style is so popular as this was such an easy book to read with a definite heart-warming and feel-good vibe.
Whilst it doesn’t require a huge level of engagement to follow, the characters have enough depth to feel realistic and the plot isn’t all sunshine and smiles. The story certainly has enough moments of reality (and things not going perfectly) that ensured the book never strayed into twee territory despite the reader feeling safe in the knowledge of things always turning out ok in the end. Gently humorous and largely predictable escapism with my main complaint being how needlessly drawn out the entire second half felt.