I remember Virginia Ironside from my youth when she was an agony aunt in either Woman or Woman's Own magazine and this book was recommended in one of those august periodicals, so I thought I'd give it a go. It's the story of newly retired art teacher Marie and pretty much how much life changes as you get older. Marie's a fairly loveable character and comes across as intelligent, witty and fairly wry, which is just as well because it allows her to deal with things such as close friends dating, strange lodgers, the possibility of losing somebody close and the wonder of a new grandchild. Ironside writes beautifully and because it's in a diary format it's easy to pick up and read in short bursts. An excellent book which I'd recommend to people of all ages - I'm in my thirties and I enjoyed it immensely!
This is a gentle, wryly humourous reflection on aging - and particuarly about the joys of becoming a grandmother. Ironside has a very positive outlook and while she admits that age brings limitations she is happy that it also brings freedoms. For instance she no longer feels driven by the need to find a sexual partner and this brings freedom to be herself and not strive to be seen as vivacious and available. Ironically her feeling of freedom seems to make her more attractive to those around her, even catching the eye of her teenage crush, Archie, after more than 40 years.
But she has a new love in her life - her grandson Gene - and her descriptions of the joy he brings to her life, together with the tribulations of friendships, are very heart-warming.
The book is lightly written, very real and easy to read.
Hilarious! Although I have another five years to go before I reach the big 60 I was definitely able to relate to so much of what Marie had to say for herself. Did not agree with all her comments though!
Sad! The illness of her friend Hughie I did find rather difficult to cope with as I have experience of being in a similar situation to Marie.
Realistic,yes! While reading kept thinking, so true,been there done that, got the same memories.
Worth reading,yes! Especially if you are a woman of a certain age or know one maybe?
Unlike Marie though I do want to remain, at least feeling young, even if not actually so. I want to remain stimulated and will carry on doing young things, rather than old things!!
Feeling generally stressed and needing a new book to take to the hairdressers I was very lucky to stumble across this. It was easy to read, yet had me laughing out loud and was also I also found it moving and felt as if I gained something (unlike many 'fun' reads). Although the lead character is approaching 60 please don't be put off if you're not around this age. From my perspective it was great to read something that wasn't about 20/30 something women and their marriage/child related dilemmas.
I genuinely looked forward to reading this book and would be happy to recommend it to anyone thoughtful and looking for an enjoyable read, i.e. there are non car chases or explicit scenes but there are very funny reflections and thoughts about life. I really hope to hear more from the character and plan to make all my friends borrow it.
Virginia Ironside has written a brilliantly funny observation of what concerns anyone of imagination and humour who is around sixty. I laughed out loud. I picked up the book for 50p at a car boot sale and was so bowled over by it I passed it round to all my local friends and sent copies to others further afield. They were all similarly appreciative. You will recognise all your own fads and foibles in this gem and wonder how Ironside could have seen into your psyche with such unerring perspicacity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am very surprised I'm the first reviewer! Don't let the cover picture give you the wrong impression! This is a wise, witty, often irreverent, always humorous (often laugh-out-loud funny) look at women-of-a-certain-age and society's attitudes towards ageing. An excellent holiday read! Why isn't it still available in paperback?
Bought for a short holiday on a friend's recommendation and very enjoyable ... Ms Ironside reflects the trials and tribulations of the advancing years with grace and panache. Witty and warm hearted, her heroine's experiences are beautifully portrayed. Highly recommended.
This isn't bad. We're used to reading rom-coms (or we could call them: chick lit, though I hate the term) aimed at the mid-30s or even mid-20s. This is a book in the same category, a light, easy read, but centred on the life of a 60 year old, Marie. The book contains plenty of funny comments about that age and to me (a not yet quite 40 year old) it was enlightening, actually quite useful to read in order to think about that age (that I do hope to reach).
The protagonist is Marie, a just-turned-60-year-old, who is funny & quite likeable. She declares herself 'over sex', that part of her life is now behind her, and she (delightfully) focuses instead on her new grandson, Gene, who she comes to adore & thoroughly enjoy. Some of the passages on Gene were just lovely in terms of how a grandparent can enjoy a baby in a way that usually a parent cannot.
What I liked less was the fact that towards the end of the book (spoiler alert!) there's the predictable romance on the horizon; that could be avoided to make it a bit more original, but as a rom com it also works OK.
All in all, not bad for an easy read that you'll probably finish in a couple of days. Not great literature by any means, but not bad for what it is.