The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin | Blog Tour Book Review | #LenniAndMargot (@DoubledayUK @itsmcronin)

Publisher: Doubleday
Available in ebook, audio, hardback, paperback (18 February 2021)
400 pages
Source: Copy received for review


Life is short. No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni living on the terminal ward. But as she is about to learn, it’s not only what you make of life that matters, but who you share it with.

Dodging doctor’s orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into fellow patient Margot, a rebel-hearted eight-three-year-old from the next ward. Their bond is instant as they realize that together they have lived an astonishing one hundred years.

To celebrate their shared century, they decide to paint their life stories: of growing old and staying young, of giving joy, of receiving kindness, of losing love, of finding the person who is everything. As their extraordinary friendship deepens, it becomes vividly clear that life is not done with Lenni and Margot yet.

Fiercely alive, disarmingly funny and brimming with tenderness, THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT unwraps the extraordinary gift of life even when it is about to be taken away, and revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we need them most.


#LenniAndMargot is a remarkable and incredibly moving story and one which left me a little wet eyed at the end. Lenni is a 17 year old Swedish born girl terminally ill in a Glasgow hospital ward. Lonely and wanting answers that kindly Father Arthur, the hospital chaplain she befriends, struggles to provide, she comes across Margot, an 83 year old fellow patient, their first meeting has Margot trying to remove her head from a recycling bin – that sets the tone for Margot’s rebellious and lively character.

Lenni is an independent character, disliking the restrictions of hospital life and wanting to move around on her own terms, hating to use a wheelchair, she enlists the help of her favourite ‘New Nurse’ (with her cupcake socks and who sits on the end of her bed at night eating raisins) to take her around the hospital.  Thanks to somebody’s hard work, an art class has been formed and Lenni arranges to be with the octogenarians whose company she prefers.

Lenni and Margot immediately click and when Lenni realises that their combined ages make 100, they decide to paint their life in 100 paintings. The story then takes you through each phase of their life through their eyes – Lenni’s 17 paintings by virtue of her age were less uneventful (but no less moving and poignant) but Margot’s told a story of her joy, loves, losses and heartbreaks.

Lenni was a fabulous character, she had a sad backstory but she was gutsy and wasn’t prepared to let what little time she had just pass her by. However it was Margot who stole my heart. I adored her and I couldn’t wait for the next chapters to hear more about her life story.

There are so many other characters so beautifully drawn and sensitively written that give this story heart – aside from Lenni and Margot, whose friendship was just wonderful. The supporting cast of Father Arthur, Meena, Humphrey all made their presence felt and had their own part to play.

This is a wonderful story of inter-generational friendships, heartbreak, following your heart and making the most of life whilst you still can.  I loved it and recommend it without hesitation.


Marianne Cronin was born in 1990. She studied English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. She now spends most of her time writing, with her newly-adopted rescue cat sleeping under her desk. When she’s not writing, Marianne can be found performing improv and stand up in the West Midlands, where she lives.

Her debut novel The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is to be published around the world and is being adapted into a feature film by Sony/Columbia Pictures. It has been sold in 25 territories to date.

Author Links:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon UK


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