Novel Approach: Sophie Cousens offers a cozy sweatered embrace with her debut novel

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” —Benjamin Franklin

The weather outside is getting frightfully cold and there’s a pandemic going on so we might as well all snuggle in next to the fireplace (or pull up a video of a crackling fire) and read a good book. Sometimes you just need to pick up a book that you know will make you smile, there’s enough going on in the world to get you down so you might as well enjoy yourself in your leisure time. Our latest read transports us to London as a pair of characters discover that they share an odd connection.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Reading “This Time Next Year” by Sophie Cousens is like wrapping yourself in a cozy and bright sweater, you might know how it will end but it certainly offers up plenty of warm and fuzzy feelings.

Romantic comedy fans can rejoice as Cousens delivers an uplifting and cheery romance in her debut novel “This Time Next Year.”

Cousens’ charming leads Minnie and Quinn have been constantly missing each other since they were both born, mere rooms apart on New Year’s Day. Minnie’s life has been less than spectacular, in fact she believes her birthday is cursed as terrible things tend to befall her on her birthday. Quinn’s life seems rather perfect on the surface, but his mother’s health has been challenging for him since he was a child.

Cousens’ radiantly crafted and laugh-out-loud funny novel will keep readers chuckling and sighing over Minnie and Quinn’s bumpy relationship through their name-stealing, penguin adopting and wild swimming exploits. Those looking for a light and heart melting story are sure to enjoy laughing along to the rollercoaster of events.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, Cousens’ novel was selected as a Good Morning America Book Club pick and a Book of The Month title.

From the book jacket…

Their lives began together, but their worlds couldn’t be more different. After thirty years of missed connections, they’re about to meet again…

Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990-and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.

When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all-while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?

If you enjoy…

Readers looking to escape into more December romcoms might enjoy Josie Silver’s delightful tale of a couple plagued by a missed connection and how their lives have intersected over the years in “One Day in December.”

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com