It’s always refreshing to read a book where the main characters are of older age, don’t you think? Especially if they are as great as the characters in this book.
The Old Girls’ Network by Judy Leigh
After a health scare, 77-year-old spinster Barbara goes to convalesce in the sleepy Somerset village of Winsleigh Green with her sister Pauline, who is now a widow. The sisters are like chalk and cheese – Barbara, outspoken and aloof and Pauline, good-natured and homely – so it’s not long before the tension starts to rise.
But when Pauline accidentally knocks down a vagrant who goes by the name of Bisto Mulligan, the ladies find themselves with another houseguest. As he recovers, it becomes clear that Bisto is not who he first seemed, and as the sisters get to know the kind and courageous man he really is, it’s clear Bisto has the potential to change both of their lives.
As the spring turns to summer, and Winsleigh Green comes to life, can the three friends make the changes they need to, to embrace fresh starts, new loves, new lives, and new horizons? Or do old habits die too hard?
Funny, joyful, and with a spring in its step that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last. Judy Leigh has once again written the perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee MacDonald, and Cathy Hopkins.
When I set out at the beginning of this year to read more light-hearted books, this is exactly what I had in mind: a fun, happy story that is not too cheesy. It was nice to read and I became invested in the characters despite the age difference (authors, no need to be ageist in the future; we love characters of all ages!).
I preferred Barbara over Pauline even if she didn’t immediately come across as likable. She had more bite to her and was the main driver of the book’s theme: is it ever too late to change? Even without reading The Old Girls’ Network, I know the answer is no. Life is for living whatever your age. Barbara was a great character to push this message.
However, I have to say that Bisto was my favorite character. With Bisto, came the message “looks can be deceiving”, an important theme that wasn’t mentioned in the article. I loved that message and how Bisto evolved as a character. Saying that, I did think he was written a bit too much as the stereotypical Irish when it came to alcohol. I don’t understand why every author feels the need to play up on that when they write an Irish character.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Old Girls’ Network. I’d certainly be up for reading a sequel *hint hint*
Grab your copy of The Old Girls’ Network here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.