Life Is Good and Other Lies (Life Is Good #1) by Magdalena di Sotru, Sophia Soames

Loving and holding on in Life Is Good and Other Lies.

From the blurb:

Finding 'the one' was the easy bit. The love story is how you keep it all together.

This is not a romance. This is what happens when life goes on, when people grow and fall out of sync. Not out of love; some people are just meant to be.

Thomas at least hopes that is the case, even though he sometimes feels like he’s clinging to his marriage by a brittle thread.

Frank clutches to the scraps that are left, knowing he’s the root cause of Thomas’ grey hairs, their kids being hormonal monsters and his own sanity being questionable at the best of times.

Gabriel needs to stop worrying and take control of his life, but with young kids and a body that refuses to do what it’s supposed to do—to sustain and nourish and build muscle to keep bones in place—his feels like a traitor, laughing in his face when he struggles to keep it together. He knows he is loved. His kids are everything. But his marriage feels like a distant memory, and he’s tumbling from one disaster into another. It’s just…life.

Bruno thought this holiday would bring them closer together as a family. Isn’t that what a trip abroad is supposed to do? Four weeks in the Swedish mosquito-infested countryside, sharing a farm with strangers. He should have known better.

Life is good. But the rest? Lies. All lies.

Life is Good and Other Lies is the story of one messy holiday, two crumbling marriages, five bored kids and a farm full of secrets. This is not a romance, instead this is a tale of those happily ever afters. The ups and downs, the good and the downright ugly. The pitfalls of parenting, the laughter and tears, and the joy of simply fighting for the people you love.

It’s also an ode to friendships, because sometimes the family you chose, is the one who will have your back when it truly matters.

Please read the trigger warnings. No cheating, polyamorous couplings, or age gaps.

The second book, Life is right here will be published in December 2022. 

Laora's Review:

Magdalena di Sotru is a new to me author but I know Sophia Soames work. This book is recognizable in that vein.

This longer read was to me a wonderful book.All about reinforcing, reaffirming and working just bloody hard on existing relationships even if it is easier to throw in the towel and call it quits when you have a hard time liking yourself and your partner and what you seemed to have become in a relationship.

I really appreciated how the authors were so respectful in their approach in writing to the way how they wrote about Gabriel as a man who is on and off struggling with body dysmorphia after having transitioned and having given birth to his and Bruno their children transitioned.

The two couples; Frank and Thomas and Gabriel and Bruno and all their children are sharing the same space in different homes on Frank, his late aunt's farm.

I loved how the authors found just the right tone to describe all the little things in the dynamics in all the existing familial and romantic relations as with the organic way how the new relations came to be. The friendships between the teenage children and the smaller twins who seem to be able to get away with murder in the eyes of all the other family members and friends. 

Especially the seemingly very healing relationship between Frank and Gabriel, who have both severely struggled and are still struggling and finding ever new ways to cope with life. Also, Thomas and Bruno are portrayed in such a way that shows that they struggle in being supportive for their partners and not being immune to mental health issues either.

I liked that Gabriel and Frank got so invested in Bella's life and I am wondering if we see more of that story back in the following book. After reading this, you might think this is all doom and gloom, but that is certainly not the case. There is enough light, laughter and banter in here. I read this book every free minute I got and I am looking forward to the following book taking place ten years later 'Life is Right Here'.

Rating: 5 Stars

Life Is Good and Other Lies is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, hardback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.