The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is a sweet but feisty tale of friendship, love, and ‘positive ageing’. Part of the growing ‘UpLit’ genre, it’s a book that will leave you feeling warmed and with a smile on your face. UpLit is pegged as a genre with ‘kindness at it’s core’ and this book is certainly one full of heart and warmth.
The story follows Peggy Smart and Angie Valentine, the ‘Thelma and Louise’ of Jacaranda Retirement Village. Peggy is seemingly losing her memory and spends her days baking and pining after the handsome Brian Cornell, when her old frenemy Angie Valentine suddenly moves in a few doors down. Cue a comedic navigation of rekindling a friendship, re-vamping Peggy’s wardrobe (and life!) and wrapping their lives around each other once again.
I honestly adored each character in this book. Joanna Nell is fantastic at painting her characters just so, and I could see Peggy, Angie, and Brian vividly in my mind’s eye from the first time they were introduced.
Jacaranda Retirement Village never seemed to feel like an enclosed estate full of doddy old codgers, but rather a village full of older people who were bound together through doctor’s appointments, funerals, and ever-the-same social events. The Residents’ Committee meetings were a riot to read, as the interactions at these meetings and the snide Sheila and Mavis were all so relatable. After all, who hasn’t been part of a meeting or group assignment where someone takes the ‘my way or the highway’ approach?
This book had me laughing-out-loud in parts, chuckling away at the antics of Peggy and Angie. Peggy’s internal monologue really tickled me, as she frequently mixes up well-known sayings or mis-hears/mis-says words that still somehow make sense but result in some pretty hilarious new phrases!
The write-up on the back of this novel hails it as book you will love if you love Grace and Frankie (which I’m not ashamed to say I LOVE and made my partner watch it…and even he likes it!). After reading the book I can see exactly what they mean and I whole-heartedly agree. The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is an uplifting look at growing old ‘disgracefully’ and not letting society (or your own flesh and blood!) make you think you can’t do what you want to…even at almost 80 years old!
Rating: A heartwarming read with a cast of fabulously funny and honest characters. This was a joy to read! I’d have no hesitation recommending this to anyone who wanted a light read and a laugh.
AU Release Date: 25 September 2018
This is my third read this year that focused on a ‘senior’ as its main character – have you read any books like this lately? What did you think?
Until next time,
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.