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Marianne Cronin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eddie Winston Is Looking for Love (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Marianne Cronin
Author Marianne Cronin was born in Warwickshire, England in the year 1990. She studied Creative Writing and English at Lancaster University before earning her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham.

Now she spends much of her time writing with her rescue cat, named Puffin, sleeping underneath her desk.

When she is not busy writing, she can be found performing improv in the West Midlands, where she lives.

It took her seven years to write “The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot”, and she wrote the first draft at the age of 22. The novel is to be translated into more than twenty languages.

While she was at university, Marianne’s migraines intensified and she found herself on a bright morning, a day after a migraine (what’s called the ‘postdrome’) feeling she couldn’t stand to listen to music or read or even look at the television.

So she fished out her old acrylic paints and some paper and began painting. It was a very shameful attempt at copying Banksy’s Girl with Balloon on a rainbow background. However for that hour she spent painting, everything stopped for her. She wasn’t thinking, she was just there, stippling away, and attempting to shape the back of the girl’s head without messing up any other part of the picture.

This was one of the starting points for her debut. There were so many other things that also led to Marianne writing about Lenni and Margot. Another was Rankin’s photography exhibition Alive in the Face of Death which showed the beauty, the defiance, and the vibrancy of each one of his subjects, all of whom were living with terminal illnesses.

Channel 4’s documentary, called My Last Summer, taught Marianne about the isolation that terminally ill people can feel. And about how humor will never leave them, even during their darkest days. She found the documentary to be very moving and left her bawling her eyes out on the floor of her new flat, which she’d just moved into, and where she was feeling incredibly lonely.

Her again, she brought out her acrylic paints. This time, she just painted a series of birds on a telephone wire that was inspired by a Pinterest board called ‘paintings for beginners’. It happened again, her thoughts went quiet and for a few hours, her main concern was just getting the shape of the birds exactly right against their bluey-pink sunrise. She wound up tossing the painting, however its gift to her was not a picture, but was that time and emptiness, that temporary peace she found while doing it.

This is why Lenni and Margot set out on their project to paint a picture for each of their one hundred years on the earth, it is not so much about the end result as it is the process of creating something. The chance to tell stories and relive, the temporary reprieve art therapy gifts them from the current situation in the Glasgow Princess Royal hospital.

Marianne’s found art to be such a useful means of escape. Since migraine with aura has been visiting her since the age of nine. It begins with the feeling that her hands aren’t her own. That she’s watching them move with this nauseating lag. Then comes the vision loss. Grey nothingness flashes in front of her eyes just like the after-effects of a camera flash. Then there’s the transient aphasia, which upsets her the most seeing as how she’s dedicated her career to words.

“The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2021. An extraordinary friendship, and a lifetime of stories. The last of which begins here.

Life is short. Nobody knows this better than Lenni, age seventeen, living on the terminal ward. However as she is going to learn, it is not just what you make of life that matters, but who you share any of it with. Dodging her doctor’s orders, she joins an art class where she bumps into Margot, a fellow patient and a rebel hearted eighty-three year old from the next ward. Their bond is immediate as they realize that together they’ve lived an astonishing one hundred years.

To celebrate this shared century of living, they decide to paint their life stories: of staying young and growing old, of receiving kindness, of giving joy, of losing love, and of finding the one person that is everything.

While their extraordinary friendship continues to deepen, it becomes vividly clear that life is not yet finished with Margot and Lenni quite yet.

This novel unwraps the extraordinary gift of life even while it is about to get taken away, and revels in our infinite capacity for love and friendship when we need them the most.

This is a novel that affected readers so powerfully as they couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it all lives on in your mind and heart long after turning the last page. This is a powerful, uplifting, warm, and joyous in sections.

Lenni is an outstanding character as she doesn’t allow anyone to pity her, while being so forthright, fierce, generous, sparky, determined, and full of life, that you can’t help but feel it too. Fans of the novel adored her right from the start of the book, until the very end; falling so deeply in love with her that this novel broke them in two while her story played out. The relationship that Lenni has with a hospital chaplain that is close to retiring is a highlight and is gorgeously developed.

Marianne has got a sharp eye for personality and has got a real skill in getting it down onto the page and readers have a strong admiration for the way she writes.

Her friendship with Lenni might seem strange at first however, while the story develops, you soon realize both have quite a lot in common and have come into one another’s lives at a time when it is exactly what the other person needs the most. It is a very honest and genuine relationship that they have.

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One Response to “Marianne Cronin”

  1. Robyn Burton: 1 month ago

    Marianne,
    I’m glad to you are just thirty four as I write. Please hurry with your next book. it doesn’t matter what it is about, it’s you I need to hear.
    It will be hard to top ‘that’ masterpiece but please don’t let that delay you…some of us haven’t got as long as you.
    Robyn Burton

    Reply

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