Joanna Nell's life-affirming debut is a moving, funny, heartwarming tale of love and community in the spirit of THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY and GRACE AND FRANKIE.
The life of 79-year-old pensioner PEGGY SMART is as beige as the decor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. Following a very minor traffic accident, things have turned frosty with her grown-up children and she is afraid they are trying to take away her independence.
The highlight of Peggy's day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim. She dreams of inviting the handsome widower - treasurer of the Residents' Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village - to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties.
But a chance encounter with an old school friend she hasn't seen in five decades - the glamorous fashionista ANGIE VALENTINE - sets Peggy on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.
'Lively and whimsical ... with some serious points to make about ageing, love, community and friendship' Sydney Morning Herald
'This heartwarming story about growing old gracefully - and disgracefully ... is a funny, witty and thoroughly enjoyable read for all ages' Daily Telegraph
'I haven't been this entranced by a character since Eleanor (Oliphant, of course). This book is a joy - it's a celebration of age instead of an apology for it, and a reminder that life is always an adventure if you let it be. I loved this uniquely endearing book' KELLY RIMMER
'I loved it! I want to be Peggy when I'm older. With many laugh-out-loud moments, this book is sure to make you see "getting old" in a different light. A refreshing, funny, realistic and warm read' FIONA PALMER
'The perfect blend of funny and moving: had me laughing and crying in this ultimately uplifting story' NATASHA LESTER
Love in a retirement village? Oh yes, and it's a wonderful story of community spirit and friendship, pacemakers and aqua aerobics. - The Australian Women's Weekly
Joanna Nell was born in the UK and studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford universities. Her essays and short fiction have won multiple awards and been published in medical journals and literary anthologies. A former ship's doctor and now working as a GP, Joanna writes character-driven stories, creating young-at-heart characters who are not afraid to break the rules and defy society's expectations of ageing. Her first three novels, THE SINGLE LADIES OF JACARANDA RETIREMENT VILLAGE, THE LAST VOYAGE OF MRS HENRY PARKER and THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM WOODLANDS NURSING HOME, were national bestsellers. Joanna lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches.