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.
About the Author
Joanna Nell was born in the UK and studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford universities. Her short fiction has won multiple awards and has been published in various journals and literary anthologies. As a GP with a passion for women's health and care of the elderly, Joanna is drawn to writing character-driven stories for women in their prime, creating young-at-heart characters who are not afraid to break the rules and defy society's expectations of ageing. Joanna lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches with her husband and two teenage children.
‘Ah listen, I’ve just finished Joanna Nell’s debut novel, The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village and it… is … a … hoot! I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud at a book as much since I read Marian Keyes’ Lucy Sullivan’s Getting Married on a train to Dublin many moons ago. It’s actually not out until October and to be honest, I may not have read it at all if I hadn’t been given an advanced reader’s copy, but I would have seriously missed out on an opportunity to read a novel which is the kind of medicinal entertainment I love when I’m feeling a bit low, particularly on some of the wetter Tasmanian winter days. A good laugh is a great tonic. And by the way, the author is a GP, so I’m sure she’ll be glad to hear her writing is having a positive effect on the well-being of at least one reader. So, regardless of your age, I can highly recommend you snuggle up with Peggy Smart and her band of old timers who have a lot to teach us about growing old, and it’s not about doing it gracefully’ ESTHER CAMPION
‘The perfect blend of funny and moving; Peggy Smart had me laughing and crying in this ultimately uplifting story’ NATASHA LESTER
‘I loved this warm and witty story of an older woman learning to stand up for herself, and found myself cheering for her to succeed. A terrific feel-good read’ KAYTE NUNN
‘I loved it! I want to be Peggy when I’m older. With many laugh-out-loud moments, this book celebrates life in the later years and is sure to make you see ‘getting old’ in a different light. A refreshing, funny, realistic and warm read’ FIONA PALMER
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 25th September 2018
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.3 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1