blog tour · book review · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Golden Oldies Book Club

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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My Review

I was looking forward to reading this story in which a group of older women shine, supporting each other and living life to its fullest. For some of those women – Ruth and Aurora – this proved to be true as both seem to come to life when they realised what they really wanted out of life. Jeannie, the main character, was more difficult to root for; it was as if she’d already resigned herself to a boring, safe existence, as if giving up running the cider business made her not only redundant in the orchards but in life as well. She had many opportunities come her way, but it felt like she was more reluctant to enjoy herself. For a woman who’d run a business for so long, she didn’t seem to want to choose her own destiny but rather let it simply happen.

What I did enjoy about this story was the seasonal element of the apple trees, from the wassailing in January, to the new growth of spring, the explosion of summer blossom and fruit, and finally the autumn harvest before winter set in once again. I felt this cycle was complimented by the multi-generational cast. The older characters are looking to wind down (some more than others) whilst the younger characters bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the business and the village.

For me, the story is heavy on description, and as beautiful as the subsequent village scenes are, I felt it had the effect of slowing the story down too much. The book club aspect of the plot formed a consistent backdrop to the changing fates of the characters, though I think it was the visit to France that finally made most of the women see the direction in which their lives were heading, and as such decided to control their future for themselves.

Aside from Jeannie, Ruth, Aurora, Verity and Danielle, stand-out characters for me were Violet (Jeannie’s mum) – but, oh, those jokes were soooooo bad, and Barney, whose down-to-earth, matter-of-fact honesty made me laugh out loud. The younger characters, too, were very real and pitched in to help. The French trip was a hoot – the sand-yachting hilarious – and the new arrivals to the village (primarily Anthony & his brother, Mikey) not only spiced up the village gossip but also helped inspire the younger members of the book club – Verity & Danielle – to take control of their lives and invest in themselves and their futures.

Overall, an engaging read about family, friends and community, and the realisation that life is for living, no matter your age.

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