Fiction

The Old Girls’ Network by Judy Leigh

About the Book

Is it ever too late to change…

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?

What I thought

I really enjoyed this book, it was a delight to read.  Again, in this, the authors fourth novel, the central characters are in their twilight years and to be honest I find them the most fun to read about.  They may be ageing, but they’re not done with life yet.

The story is set in an English country village – Winsleigh Green during a warm, quintessentially English summer.  I loved this little village, somewhere I’d definitely be happy living.

Through the first half of the book Barbara does tend to be a bit of a misery.  A typical spinster, she’s set in her ways, straight laced and speaks as she finds.  Completely different to her sister who’s a far happier person with a sunny disposition and a desire to embrace village life and offer help to anyone who might need it.  When Barbara first turns up on Pauline’s doorstep and invites herself to stay, Pauline soon starts to regret making her welcome and it’s not long before she recalls why they just don’t get along.  However, she does feel sorry for her sister and lucky for Barbara, Pauline has quite a forgiving nature and is willing to bite her tongue and put up with her grumpiness.

When they literally bump into a stranger in the village, Bisto Mulligan, who steps out into the road in front of Pauline’s car, Pauline decides to offer this odd but pleasant and apparent vagrant, a temporary roof over his head while he recovers.  She feels it’s the least she can do after running him over.  Much to the disapproval of Barbara.

So the story centres around these three elderly folk and follows them through the many ups and downs of village life.  Whilst you’re reading you don’t really think of them as being in their 70’s.  There are lots of supporting characters within the village to complement the main protagonists.  There are all the typical things that go on like the village fête, a welly throwing competition, yoga in the village hall, a sexy window cleaner, village gossip, a touch of romance here and there.  It all adds up to fun and frolics in the sun.

A light-hearted, uplifting and funny read but with touching moments scattered amongst the fun here and there.  It’s a wonderful story to read in the garden in the sunshine, with a cool drink by your side to take you away from all the upheaval we’re experiencing at this present time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

♥ Happy Reading ♥


Thanks to the publisher Boldwood Books via Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

The book is published in e-book and paperback on 16 June 2020

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2 thoughts on “The Old Girls’ Network by Judy Leigh

    1. It is really good. I’ve read all but one of Judy Leigh’s books, they all tend to feature older people. I loved her first book A Grand Old Time, that was funny most of the way through but quite sad towards the end. I’ll have a look at that hashtag. Thanks for commenting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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