Welcome to a new member of our book reviewing team, Janet Gordon

Our guest contributors are handpicked to provide positive, interesting, uplifting articles that appeal to ladies over fifty. So settle down with your beverage of choice and join us in welcoming Janet Gordon to our book reviewing team.

Other Women by Cathy Kelly

Another book for ladies over fifty

I’ve always loved a “take three girls” type of reading, and in Other Women by one of Ireland’s favourite writers Cathy Kelly, we have “three girls” of the absolute best kind. 

Not that they really are girls  – they’re actually grown women  – but “take three women” doesn’t really sound right.

There’s Sid, now a singleton since partner  Mark has just moved out.  Then there’s Marin (I love that name, by the way), who is the family “helper” juggling a million balls whilst spinning hundreds of plates, like work, home, husband, and kids all collide, as well as a serious credit card addiction that momentarily makes her feel better until she realises (and haven’t we all been there) that actually it’s sick-making. 

Lastly, Bea, whose husband died, precipitated her into early labour and never found a love to match her deceased husband, well apart from son Luke. 

And they all have their secrets. 

Set in a small  Irish town somewhere nearish Dublin, I think (but geography was never a good class for me), there’s a whole heap of characters that people their lives –  full of love, unjudgmental friendship and heaps of great advice.       

I absolutely adored this – Cathy Kelly’s novels are so full of real life, humour and literally just the stuff that happens to all of us that reading this is like having a drink with an old friend.

Other Women  is a warm hug of a read. 

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Another book for ladies over fifty

How many of us have suffered from imposter syndrome?  You know, when you’re promoted, or you get offered a job you never thought you were qualified for, and the whole time you’re convinced you’ll be found out as the fraud you think you are. 

Or have you ever pretended to be somebody else to get a pal out of a fix?   Over the phone maybe or standing in for someone on online dating?    Maybe?  But face to face?  I don’t think so. 

So could you ever imagine standing in for your best friend, who has decided that, rather than travelling up to Scotland where she’d accepted a job as a Sommelier in a renovated hotel, she’d decamp to a foreign island to experience life with a married man who just might be persuaded to leave his wife?  No – me neither. 

So Sommelier Woman Heather begged her best friend Birdy to phone the hotel pretending to be her and explain that she couldn’t take the job.   And of course, how could Birdy refuse to that, refuse to make a simple phone call. 

But to Birdy, life is for living, and since she’d just been thrown out of her flat with no money and nowhere to go because no way would she slink back to her parents, it seemed like a brilliant idea not just to be Heather on the phone, but to be Heather in real life.   She had Heather’s first-class ticket to Scotland, and in Birdy logic, because the hotel hadn’t actually met Heather, why shouldn’t Birdy become Heather. 

A world-class wine expert notwithstanding, Birdy was convinced that she could mug up enough to pass muster. So could she when the only thing she really knew about wine was that it came in red and white, oh and rosé.

What happens next is a wonderful feel good novel as Birdy tries, oh so hard, to become Heather.

Does she succeed  – I’ll leave that to you to find out. But, rest assured, this is a great “take on holiday” read – light, frothy and full of fun. 

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