The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
One of the debuts we’ve published this year that has exceptionally touched me and altered me is The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot.
This story of the unique friendship between two women, one aged 17 and the other 83, who meet at art class in hospital and tell each other their lives, has a lightness of touch and a depth of meaning that really strikes you in the heart. It’s the sort of book that you’ll find you can’t stop thinking about. You will need to give yourself a lot of time before you pick up another book.
Both these characters are rebels in their own way, and they ask nothing of others while giving wholly of themselves, without realising it. To read of such people is incredibly humbling. Margot is an ordinary woman from Glasgow, whose search for love and meaning is utterly universal but also totally unique. The younger woman Lenni learns from her, and ultimately, it is Margot who gives Lenni’s life meaning and vice versa.
This book is storytelling at its most elevated – it is full of emotion but also everyday things that root us in the everyday. The unpretentious way in which this book delivers the most meaningful message about the importance of life and friendship, its very humility before such profound themes, is what will move you to laughter and tears. I urge everyone to read it.
Jane Lawson, Editorial Director, Doubleday