I have read several of Judy Leigh’s books and loved them all. She is one of my favourite authors and besides her style of writing and wonderful characters, I love how she writes about older people. In The Highland Hens, the cover has the tagline “Because being old enough to know better, doesn’t mean your dancing days are done…” and it’s that kind of positivity about older women that makes her novels stand out.
So I was really looking forward to reading her latest novel – and of course, it didn’t disappoint!
The star of this story is Mimi McKinlay, 88 years young, who lives in the impressive Glen Carrick House near Loch Ness. Back in the 1950s, she was a chorus girl and still loves to dream about the good old days of singing and dancing on stage. She lives with her three sons – Finlay (64), Angus (61) and Hamish (57).
Isabella Ballantyne is Mimi’s Italian friend. She’s 82 and was a fashion model in the 1960s. Just like Mimi, she’s not ready to grow old gracefully, but wants to live life for as long as she has left. She drives a red sports car and is a complete hoot! Isabella and Mimi together are brilliant. But on her own, Mimi seems sad, is eating too little and drinking too much.
So her sons decide that what she needs is a companion…
Jess Oliver is enjoying her first holiday to the Scottish Highlands. She is 59 years old and a divorced mum to Saffy (25). But her housing plans don’t quite work out, so she ends up taking the job as Mimi’s live-in companion.
I won’t tell you anything else, you’ll have to read it for yourself – and please do, because it’s an excellent book. Judy’s books are always very accessible, easy to get into and then you fall in love with the characters and need to keep reading. Do they get their Happy Ever Afters? You really hope so.
The Highland Hens is another great read that takes you through a variety of emotions, but always ending up feeling happy and with a big smile on your face – albeit a bit tinged with sadness at the end, when you realise you have to leave the characters behind. Though I suspect the wonderful high-kicking Mimi will stay with me a while…
The Highland Hens
In the imposing Glen Carrick House overlooking Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, lives eighty-eight-year-old Mimi McKinlay, cared for by her three adult sons. Hamish has inherited his mother’s musical talents, Fin is the responsible brother, and Angus has the complicated and brooding personality to match his dashing good looks.
But what all the brothers share is a concern that their beloved mother is living in her memories of her days on stage, while letting her present days pass her by.
Jess Oliver is at a turning point. Amicably divorced after years of being married, this trip to the Highlands is a first taste of independence. It isn’t long before the beauty and hospitality of Scotland captures her heart.
When Mimi and Jess’s paths cross, a friendship is formed that will change both women’s lives. And as together they find ways to look forward instead of to the past, long forgotten dreams are within reach, and every new day is fresh with possibilities.
Take a trip to the Highlands with Judy Leigh for an unforgettable story of glorious pasts and fabulous futures, of love, friendship, family and fun. The perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee Macdonald and Cathy Hopkins.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3xk9wnd
Author Bio –
Judy Leigh is the USA Today bestselling author of The Old Girls’ Network and Five French Hens 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.
Social Media Links
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2 thoughts on “The Highland Hens by Judy Leigh”
Thanks so much for this gorgeous review. You are just so kind. Sending warmest wishes, J x
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And I can’t get over how you can excel at both these kinds of books and The Witch’s Tree, what a talent you are! xx