Troubador The Happy Ending

Released: 28/09/2017

ISBN: 9781788033268

eISBN: 9781788030465

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Happy Ending


A 97 year old hero becomes involved in a very 21st century problem... A novel for those who enjoyed 'The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared' and 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' “This is a feel-good, heart-warming novel, full of fun and whimsy that also touches on a serious theme.”

When his wife of seventy years dies, Harry Pigeon considers joining her in the grave as he feels his purpose for living has gone. A freak accident outside his bungalow draws him into the sordid world of modern slavery and a quest that re-invigorates his zest for life. Single-handedly rescuing two girls from an international trafficking operation, he finds the tables are turned when he is accused of kidnapping them. When the girls also admit to using him to gain money, Harry's old-fashioned values suddenly seem inadequate. Can someone of his age still make a contribution in the modern world?

Also running through the story is a sub-plot involving Harry's deceased wife, Betty who retains a strong voice in his life through their amusing, daily conversations that show his continued dependency on her for advice and guidance. Clearly they’ve had their difficulties in the past - in particular over the daughter he never met who died before he returned home from the war. Can Harry hope to resolve his feelings with Betty from beyond the grave?

Five star reviews on Amazon!
"Keeps you up late
Only David Stokes could turn a story about a 97 year old man into such a thrilling, keep you on your toes love story/ crime investigation. He excels himself by subtly educating on a serious subject through a fun adventure with a wonderful leading character and his dead wife as his side kick. I will be recommending this book to everyone- I don't usually have time to read much but this kept me staying up late."

I loved the characters, their relationships, the storyline (including who is on which “side”), and the serious context,
A slow burner at the beginning, the book picks up pace rapidly and I couldn’t put it down at the end.
The “Talking to Betty " idea works brilliantly as a vehicle for exposition, character setting and light relief.
This is not my usual genre but this book and "The hundred year old man who climbed out of the window ..." have opened my eyes to a gentler style of story telling. I am not yet Harry's age but I truly felt the frailty of his age.

That's Books

Books Monthly


Absolutely gorgeous book - Highly recommended - A Must Read!

I fell in love with Harry from the first page, and despite the really serious nature of the topic, and the events he was ultimately, and unwittingly caught up in, I found myself smiling throughout this book, and trying to snatch any sort of time to read just to find out where events would take him.

The supporting cast are also we gradually meet lots of other members of his family, as well as "his girls", and with brilliantly written flashes into his past and all that entailed, everyone in this book are believable and loveable.

Read this now!

by Ruth Turner

This is a charming page-turner that tackles a serious theme very well. Modern slavery may seem like an other-worldly problem, but it is thriving in the UK and we are all surrounded by it, even if we don't see or experience it directly.

The Happy Ending reminds us that twists of fate can cause anyone to be confronted by issues that would not normally enter their stream of consciousness. Yes, there are a few areas of the plot and actions of characters that are hard to imagine, but this serves to demonstrate the absurdity of the very existence of trafficking and exploitation in our seemingly civilised society.

The main character is the highlight of the book. He is instantly likeable, and his values, thoughts and feelings are heart-warmingly presented through the reflective dialogue with his late wife. There are glints of humour throughout and ultimately it a story of human kindness, not cruelty, that is at the heart of this book. Worth a read!

by verified Amazon purchaser

It is like The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man...!" Our almost centenarian protagonist--who is completely out of touch with modern technological comforts is pulled into a/n mis/adventure that goes by super fast as it deals with a very serious topic. The plot is well set up and you'll find yourself going back to admire things that were mentioned in earlier pages.

by Jeimy Gonzalez

3 stars Thanks to Netgalley for this book in exchange for a truthful review.

Harry is 97 and in bad health, plus he has lost his wife Betty - however they still converse on a daily basis. When a young woman, being chased, drives a stolen car into the front gate of his house, Harry wants to help her. Betty doesn't want him to - she doesn't want him involved. Harry takes the young girl in and protects her from the men following her.
This begins a long relationship between Harry and Bituin, who Harry hides away for many days. As Bituin becomes more at ease with Harry she tells him a story of being held a prisoner. She came to this country from the Philippines to work and send money home to her parents. She ended up in a human trafficking system and has been held against her will and forced into prostitution. Harry plans to set this right.
Soon a second girl, Nadia is involved, having been in the same situation as Bituin. While on a long trip with the girls in his ancient camper, Harry ends up under arrest for kidnapping. Bringing in his nephew, as his attorney, everyone believes that the two girls are playing Harry for what money they can swindle out of him. No one believes in the human trafficking element.
With a little help from Betty's advice, Harry is out to prove everyone wrong and save these two girls.

Stokes brought his characters to life and immersed them in an all to well hidden criminal activity. Harry, Bituin, Nadia and Betty were the main characters, surrounded by many secondary characters. Although a bit long, the story moved well and Stokes added enough problems to keep it interesting. It tended towards the whimsical even with the devastation of the human trafficking element.

by taking.mytime

A heart-warming and life affirming lovely story about nonagenarian who has found purpose once again, after years of quietly waiting out his twilight years.

Harry has lost his wife, after many years of happy marriage and nursing her through illness. After years of faithfully serving his country, looking after his customers and loving his wife, he now he feels mostly useless. He still has chats with his dead wife, Betty, and she still offers him great advice. Even so, he knows she is no longer with him and the morphine in the cupboard is looking very tempting.

But everything changes when a young Filipino woman literally crashes into his life and he finds himself embroiled in the world of international crime and violent bad guys. Harry muddles his way through hair-raising escapades, mostly oblivious to danger, with singular warmth and endearment. He really is a wonderfully drawn character, who I would very much like to meet and have a cup of tea with. I'd probably end up staying for dinner.

This is a thoroughly funny and often poignant story about a true gentleman who shows us all how easy compassion can be .

by Rekkha O'Sullivan

David Stokes

David Stokes is an Emeritus Professor and a Company Director. He has published widely in non-fiction during his career as an academic, including one business title which has been available for 25 years and is in its 7th edition. This novel was inspired by the life of David’s father, an RAF war veteran who died aged 102, although, he is keen point out, this story is entirely fictional. David lives in Guildford, Surrey.

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