A Grand Old Time – Life Begins at 75 by Judy Leigh @AvonBooksUK @JudyLeighWriter #AGrandOldTime #JudyLeigh #BookReview

img_5619Avon Books  3rd May 2018

Book Description

It’s never too late to have the time of your life…

Evie Gallagher is regretting her hasty move into a care home.  She may be seventy-five and recently widowed, but she’s absolutely not dead yet.  And so, one morning, Evie walks out of Sheldon Lodge and sets off on a Great Adventure across Europe.

But not everyone thinks Great Adventures are appropriate for women of Evie’s age, least of all her son Brendan and his wife Maure, who follow a trail of puzzling text messages to bring her home.

When they finally catch up with her, there are shocks in store… because while Brendan may have given up on life and love, Evie certainly has not.

A funny and heart-warming debut, perfect for fans of Rachel Joyce and Dawn French.

My Thoughts

Firstly special thanks to Elke at Avon Books for sending me a copy of this book.

This is a light hearted and entertaining read with a central theme of ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘Seize the Day’.  Evie is a highly likeable and I have to say inspiring character who shortly after being widowed moves into a care home.  She quickly realises she has made a mistake and ups and leaves.  With a bit of luck and a great attitude for adventure she finds herself in France meeting some terrific characters along the way.  Pursued by her well meaning but staid son and his wife whose road trip is less positive than Evie’s and serves to highlight and broaden the cracks in their already tired marriage.

This is an uplifting story with some wise lessons for all.  Evie and her son are essentially polar opposites, him strewn with anxiety for his mother who has left the safety of the care home where he thinks she should be.   For Evie she is having a fabulous time, smashing all the stereo types associated with women of a certain age and living her fullest life.  Within the pages are allusions to missed opportunities and second chances which serve to make this an inspiring story.

This book started rather slowly for me and while I enjoyed the story and the road trip aspect, I found myself wondering when something would happen.  The bittersweet ending however was perfect and overall this was a warm and fun read with some great wisdom ingrained within its pages.


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