I am a big fan of Judy Leigh’s novels and love the mixture of comedy, romance and inspirational older heroines that you find in her books. I think the first of her novels I read was The Golden Girls’ Getaway back in December last year, and since then, she has definitely gone on my list of authors I’ll read anything by. Absolutely a top class writer and one of my favourites!
The Golden Oldies Book Club begins by introducing Jeannie Sharrock, who is 72 and owns the Cider Farm, which has been in the family for generations. Her mother Violet is still around at 95 and full of awful jokes! Family is an important part of their life and Jeannie’s twin grandchildren, Ella and Caleb (17) live with them too.
The village of Combe Pomeroy has a lot going on and is full of interesting characters, especially older women who are as busy in their retirement as they could possibly wish to be. Aurora Perry is 72 and runs the Cider Farm’s Café and Gift Shop. The book club (which is incredibly volatile!) is run by Ruth Barclay at the library, who wears so many metaphorical hats in the village, she should own a millinery.
Jeannie, Aurora, Ruth and Danielle meet up for a chat and a drink one evening. They’re all feeling a bit fed up, but Ruth has an idea. Along with Verity (who also goes to the book club), the five of them decide on a little trip away together, a chance to escape from their daily lives and hopefully have some fun and time off their work and chores. (You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!)
There’s a lovely community spirit here and wonderfully strong friendships. As with any village, you get the annoying characters too, but everyone has their place and their role to play in the story. I have found that as a reader, you feel a part of the community too. I could definitely see myself at the book club and sharing a few Proseccos with the women afterwards.
Judy Leigh has a wonderfully warm writing style that brings you straight into the story and holds your interest throughout. I especially love how many of the stars of her stories are women in their seventies and older, still very much bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, having lots of fun and chasing their dreams. I do get fed up of novels where women in their twenties are complaining about getting old and still being unmarried or whatever. I’m in my fifties, but can relate to Judy’s characters much easier than someone three decades younger than me.
As with every book of hers I’ve read, this one is completely charming and lots of fun. Along with the novels she writes as Elena Collins (completely different, but again highly recommended), I plan to read everything Judy Leigh writes – and hopefully, there will be many more delightful books to come.
The Golden Oldies Book Club
Deep in the Somerset countryside, the Combe Pomeroy village library hosts a monthly book club.
Ruth the librarian fears she’s too old to find love, but a discussion about Lady Chatterley’s Lover makes her think again.
Aurora doesn’t feel seventy-two and longs to relive the excitement of her youth, while Verity is getting increasingly tired of her husband Mark’s grumpiness and wonders if their son’s imminent flight from the nest might be just the moment for her to fly too. And Danielle is fed up with her cheating husband. Surely life has more in store for her than to settle for second best?
The glue that holds Combe Pomeroy together is Jeannie. Doyenne of the local cider farm and heartbeat of her family and community, no one has noticed that Jeannie needs some looking after too. Has the moment for her to retire finally arrived, and if so, what does her future hold?
From a book club French exchange trip, to many celebrations at the farm, this is the year that everything changes, that lifelong friendships are tested, and for some of the women, they finally get the love they deserve.
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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.
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