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The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: A Novel
by Marianne Cronin

Published: 2021-06-01T00:0
Paperback : 352 pages
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“A beautiful debut, funny, tender, and animated by a willingness to confront life’s obstacles and find a way to survive. . . . It celebrates friendship, finds meaning in difficulty and lets the reader explore dark places while always allowing for the possibility of light. Lenni and ...
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Introduction

“A beautiful debut, funny, tender, and animated by a willingness to confront life’s obstacles and find a way to survive. . . . It celebrates friendship, finds meaning in difficulty and lets the reader explore dark places while always allowing for the possibility of light. Lenni and Margot are fine companions for all our springtime journeys.”—Harper’s Bazaar, UK

A charming, fiercely alive and disarmingly funny debut novel in the vein of John Green, Rachel Joyce, and Jojo Moyes—a brave testament to the power of living each day to the fullest, a tribute to the stories that we live, and a reminder of our unlimited capacity for friendship and love.

An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories.

Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though the teenager has been told she’s dying, she still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital’s arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined.

As their friendship blooms, a world of stories opens for these unlikely companions who, between them, have been alive for one hundred years. Though their days are dwindling, both are determined to leave their mark on the world. With the help of Lenni’s doting palliative care nurse and Father Arthur, the hospital’s patient chaplain, Lenni and Margot devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived—stories of love and loss, of courage and kindness, of unexpected tenderness and pure joy.

Though the end is near, life isn’t quite done with these unforgettable women just yet.

Delightfully funny and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot reminds us of the preciousness of life as it considers the legacy we choose to leave, how we influence the lives of others even after we’re gone, and the wonder of a friendship that transcends time.

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. If you were going to paint memories from all the years of your life – which moment or
memory would you paint first?

2. Friendship is a big theme of the book, how do Lenni’s friendships with Margot, Father Arthur
and New Nurse change her?

3. What do you think happens to Margot after the end of the book? Do you think she makes it
to Vietnam to see Meena again?

4. Margot travels to Vietnam to see Meena – where is the furthest you have travelled to see
someone you love?

5. If Lenni had grown up, what do you think she might have done with her life?

6. What do you think draws Margot and Lenni to each other?

7. How did Margot change throughout the different stages of her life?

8. Lenni and Arthur have very different opinions, but they manage to be friends anyway. What
do you think makes them so compatible?

9. Do you think Lenni and Margot were destined to meet and become friends?

10. If you were telling the story of your life, what would be your favorite chapter?

11. The hospital is a big part of the book – when was the last time you visited a hospital and
how did you feel when you were there?

12. Why do you think Humphrey pretends to have forgotten Margot when he is in the care
home?

13. How do you think Lenni’s unusual home life affected her?

14. Lenni isn’t sure about her religious beliefs, but she still visits the chapel – why do you think
this is?

15. If you could visit one of the times or places in the book, where would you go?

16. Margot moves to London despite not having any plan for when she gets there – if you could
move to any City, where would you go?

17. If you were to make a film of Lenni and Margot, who would play the lead roles?

18. Why do you think Lenni struggles to make friends with people her own age?

19. If you could be friends with one character from the book, who would it be?

20. Which friend or relative will you pass this book onto when you’ve finished it?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Jean W. (see profile) 01/17/23

 
by Amanda N. (see profile) 06/18/22

Sweet story

 
by becky s. (see profile) 02/28/22

 
by Kristen K. (see profile) 01/28/22

 
by Danielle M. (see profile) 01/28/22

 
by Adrienne B. (see profile) 10/07/21

 
by Kate M. (see profile) 08/25/21

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