Bea Pinkerton is a bestselling author … well, she was. Right now she’s suffering from writer’s block and she’s way over her deadline (again!) Only this time, instead of her understanding, warm and friendly agent holding her hand and telling her that everything will be ok, she’s been replaced by the no-nonsense, all-business Vesta who is not the hand-holding type at all. In fact she’s more of the ‘crack-the-whip’ variety and is standing her ground and making it very clear that “this will not do”! (Side-Bar: Vesta is a bully! I might be wrong but it’s my opinion that the author created her to portray the absolute worst type of bully: a workplace female who takes great joy in pulling down fellow workplace females who she feels are weaker than her, instead of building them up. Seriously … women in the workplace need to be better!)
Bea has no idea how to re-inspire herself. She’s 60 years old, divorced from a husband that she didn’t like anyway, and when he absconded with a stash of stolen cash, he took what was left of her self-esteem with her! She really feels like she’s hit rock bottom and that her writing career is most certainly over. And while we’re on the subject of ‘over’ she’s convinced that she is bound to be sadly single forever more.
So when her friend Audrie invites her to her French chateau for a reunion with their university friend Gin (that’s a person, not a bottle!), she immediately jumps at the chance, picturing the beautiful countryside, as she remembers it and a relaxed time with her two best friends (the three of them called themselves ‘the Baggies’), knowing this is exactly what she needs to get her out of the slump she’s in. Her spirits will be lifted and she’ll have loads of free time to write, in a gorgeous setting!
When she gets there though, she realises that things might not work out as she had planned. It seems that Audrie may have invited them there under false pretenses because when Bea arrives it is quite obvious that Audrie is très furieux – the object of her fury being her beloved husband Vincent, who she’s convinced is on the verge of divorcing her. (Readers will quickly realise that Audrie has a tendency to be très dramatique!) Things take a further downhill turn when the usually happy-go-lucky Gin arrives, and instead of having taken her most recent divorce in her stride (her fourth!) like she did with her previous ones, she seems to have taken this one very much to heart and is not the happy bunny that Bea is used to at all! It’s obvious that the the TLC Bea came in search of is sadly not to be found here!
But wait! Suddenly there’s an unexpected plot twist when a rather attractive gentleman visitor moves into the room next to Bea’s at the chateau. And … mon Dieu! … Bea is sure she’s mistaken, but could he be flirting with her?! This was the last thing on her mind when she planned this trip!
I adored Bea! Here is this extremely relatable older woman who is just so, so real! Thank you Maddie Please for creating her! I wanted to reach out to her numerous time, to hug her, to rub her shoulder, or squeeze her hand to let her know she wasn’t alone in her insecurities, especially when she was so uncomfortable in a room full of gorgeous, glossy younger woman who she was convinced hadn’t a care in the world because they all had every single aspect of their lives so perfectly ‘together’! I wanted to shake her and make her see that although each and every one of those women looked beautiful on the outside, they all had their own inner crap that they were carrying around with them. They had just perfected the art of the outer shell, something Bea was just too down to earth and authentic to do!
I hope people don’t pass this over thinking it’s a light fluffy piece of ‘chick-lit’. Yes, there are loads of laugh out load moments – some are literally hilarious, but there is so much depth and insight here. For me it was a five-star read that I’d highly recommend. Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour which you can follow here …
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3KQVpL9
Maddie Please is the #1 bestselling author of novels including The Old Ducks’ Club and Sisters Behaving Badly. Having had a career as a dentist and now lives in rural Devon where she enjoys box sets, red wine and Christmas. She will be taking a new direction in her writing for Boldwood with joyous tales of older women.
Social Media Links:
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MaddiePleaseNews
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maddie-please