Val is in her early seventies and lives in Merrynporth, Cornwall. After their son Tom moved to Canada, it was just Val and her husband Ray spending Christmas together, but then Val finds her husband with someone else.
Moving forward a year to the present day and it’s Christmas Day again. Val has moved into a small cottage in Lowenstowe – a small seaside town five miles from Merrynporth. She makes friends with her neighbours – Connie (74, Dutch) and Kevin and Alice who have a dog called Dolly – and some of the others in the town, most noticeably Loveday Moon, an 82-year-old activist who is a real character!
On New Year’s Eve, Val’s son Tom rings her to tell her he’s getting married the following December. His dad will be there with his partner Monica, while Val will be all on her own. But talking to Connie, they hatch a plan. She will try to find someone to take with her to the wedding as her plus one, by auditioning men over the coming months – Mr Maybes.
This is a lovely book, I’m a real fan of Judy Leigh’s writing. Her characters are so warm and real and Val here is a real gem, you will really root for her and hope she finds happiness. But the whole “supporting cast” are wonderful too and there are all different ages and types here. I love how so many of her characters are over seventy and show how much life there is left in them, but also here, there’s wonderful Ollie, who’s much younger and has Aspergers (as does my daughter) and he is a great character too. There are some cute dogs as well – I do love a good pet in a novel – and the environmental themes are really well done, without ever seeming preachy.
Although there is romance at the heart of the book, the main theme for me was friendship. I loved Val and Connie, such a gorgeous example of two women supporting each other and becoming best mates.
Overall, it’s another big success for Judy Leigh, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.
9 out of 10
A Year of Mr Maybes
Never say never to falling in love…
Val didn’t expect to be starting again in her seventies, but when life gives her lemons, Val is determined to make lemonade.
Settled into her new home – a picture-perfect fisherman’s cottage in the small Cornish seaside town of Lowenstowe – Val is ready to start a new chapter. And with her son due to get married next Christmas, there’s also the little job of finding herself a plus-one to help her face her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.
With the support of her neighbour Connie, and after decades of married life, Val takes the plunge back into the world of dating with trepidation and excitement. But can she remember how the single life works, let alone what her type is? There seem to be plenty of Mr Maybes, but no sign of Mr Right.
As the year passes, and as friendships and community life flourish, Val begins to blossom. And as Christmas approach, she might just decide she doesn’t need that plus-one after all – although never say never…
Judy Leigh is back with her trademark promise of laughter, love and friendship. The perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee Macdonald and Cathy Hopkins.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3tpoJmQ
Author Bio –
Judy Leigh is the bestselling author of Five French Hens, A Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventure and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.
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