The Old Girls' Network
Is it ever too late to change… After a health scare, 77 year-old spinster Barbara goes to convalesce in the sleepy Somerset village of Winsleigh Green with her sister Pauline, who is now a widow. The sisters are like chalk and cheese - Barbara, outspoken and aloof and Pauline, good natured and homely – so it’s not long before the tension starts to rise. But when Pauline accidentally knocks down a vagrant who goes by the name of Bisto Mulligan, the ladies find themselves with another houseguest. As he recovers, it becomes clear that Bisto is not who he first seemed, and as the sisters get to know the kind and courageous man he really is, it’s clear Bisto has the potential to change both of their lives.As the spring turns to summer, and Winsleigh Green comes to life, can the three friends make the changes they need to, to embrace fresh starts, new loves, new lives and new horizons. Or do old habits die too hard? Funny, joyful and with a spring in its step that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last. Judy Leigh has once again written the perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee MacDonald and Cathy Hopkins. Praise for Judy Leigh’s books:‘Brilliantly funny, emotional and uplifting’ Miranda Dickinson'Lovely . . . a book that assures that life is far from over at seventy' Cathy Hopkins bestselling author of The Kicking the Bucket List'Brimming with warmth, humour and a love of life… a wonderful escapade’ Fiona Gibson, bestselling author of The Woman Who Upped and Left

The Old Girls' Network Details

TitleThe Old Girls' Network
Author
ReleaseJun 16th, 2020
Rating
GenreRomance, Womens Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Contemporary

The Old Girls' Network Review

  • Dash fan
    January 1, 1970
    5☆ A Heart Warming, Uplifting, Compelling and Very Entertaining Read! Be prepared for plenty of Fun and Giggles!Barbara is convinced she had just died, woke up in hospital from a pretty nasty fall and a memory full of regrets. All she wants to do is go home. But the Dr has other ideas!Pauline is Barbara's sister, she lives alone in a three bedroom Country Cottage in Winsleigh Green, which is in desperate need of some TLC. But since her husband passed away, Pauline is struggling. Luckily she has 5☆ A Heart Warming, Uplifting, Compelling and Very Entertaining Read! Be prepared for plenty of Fun and Giggles!Barbara is convinced she had just died, woke up in hospital from a pretty nasty fall and a memory full of regrets. All she wants to do is go home. But the Dr has other ideas!Pauline is Barbara's sister, she lives alone in a three bedroom Country Cottage in Winsleigh Green, which is in desperate need of some TLC. But since her husband passed away, Pauline is struggling. Luckily she has the close knit community to help support her, especially as she doesn't see eye to eye with Barbara.But when Barbara rings Pauline out the blue telling her she's coming to stay for some r&r she's worringly apprehensive, but maybe just maybe they can reconnect. Both now in their 70s, both very different what have they got to lose!Especially when Bisto Mulligan falls into their lives, he might just be the one to bring everyone closer together!I have always loved reading books that feature Characters of the older generation, it brings a refreshing change and these eclectic bunch are superbly written. They certainly made an impact.Sisters Pauline and Barbara are so very different. Barbara is what some might call a spinster, she's aloof, not entirely likeable at first, fiercely independent and is not afraid to say it, as it is. Pauline a widow and a Mum, she's kind, caring, has a big heart and always seems to be in Barbara's shadow not knowing if and when she will upset her. So it was nice to see their relationship grow.The Old Girls’ Network is a heart warming, uplifting, compelling and very entertaining story of second chances, rekindling bonds, Romance, relationships, community spirit, plenty of drama, fun and lots of giggles.What I really loved was that Leigh made me feel part of the Winsleigh Green Community and all that is has to offer, which was pretty special.Overall a wonderfully uplifting, lighthearted and fun read that I highly recommend reading.Thank you to Rachel Random Resources and Boldwood books for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.You can Find this Review and all my Other Reviews on My Blog :- https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2020/0...
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4 spry starsI really enjoyed this, the latest book written by Judy Leigh. She has written a thoughtful yet mostly lighthearted book. It features an English village setting, and characters who are a mixed bag of folks I’d like to meet. Well, I would like to meet MOST of them anyway.Barbara and Pauline are 77 and 75 year-old respectively. They are sisters that never had much in common, as they grew up, and that gap widened as their lives progressed. Then Barbara had a health scare. Her doc Rating: 4 spry starsI really enjoyed this, the latest book written by Judy Leigh. She has written a thoughtful yet mostly lighthearted book. It features an English village setting, and characters who are a mixed bag of folks I’d like to meet. Well, I would like to meet MOST of them anyway.Barbara and Pauline are 77 and 75 year-old respectively. They are sisters that never had much in common, as they grew up, and that gap widened as their lives progressed. Then Barbara had a health scare. Her doctor told her to go stay with someone for a while. Someone who could ensure that she is faring okay. Therefore, she invites herself to Pauline’s cottage in the village of Winsley Green. Pauline was widowed a couple of years ago, but has found a comfortable niche in this small village.Then Pauline hits Bisto Mulligan with her car. He was travelling through on his way to France. He joins the sisters in the cottage while he recuperates. Then the fun ensues. We watch as the three main characters interact with the varied folks who live in the village. Barbara is sharp with her opinions that she is not afraid to voice. She does not have a filter, and is often unwittingly harsh and judgmental. Bisto is a bit of an Everyman. He is mysterious about his background but it willing to join in an all sorts of village goings-on. Pauline is kind-hearted and giving. She’s made great connections amongst the villagers.I loved watching the summer unfold with these main characters and the other villagers. It was just the slice of life (or 'Slice of Village') story that I needed to read during this stressful time of COVID isolation. The story had enough drama amongst all the villagers to keep me interested. I liked experiencing the May Day festivities, the Welly Wanging Contest, and the Shakespeare outdoor drama on the green. I felt like I was part of the village too. It was fun to see how the summer impacted everyone’s lives. This was a charming book. I would recommend it to readers looking for a light getaway. I think that this fits in the newly emerging 'Up-Lit' genre. Now I'm off to find more books written by Ms. Leigh.‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, Boldwood Books; and the author, Judy Leigh for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsYou can read all of my reviews at https://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.com.This is a cute, uplifting book about not giving up on love and happiness no matter one's age. Barbara, a 77 year-old spinster, has a health scare and decides to visit her widowed sister Pauline in the small Somerset village of Winsleigh Green. Barbara is a retired military secretary who values order and discipline over fun and sentimentality. Barbara and Pauline couldn't be more different. Barbara's outlook on life has m 4 starsYou can read all of my reviews at https://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.com.This is a cute, uplifting book about not giving up on love and happiness no matter one's age. Barbara, a 77 year-old spinster, has a health scare and decides to visit her widowed sister Pauline in the small Somerset village of Winsleigh Green. Barbara is a retired military secretary who values order and discipline over fun and sentimentality. Barbara and Pauline couldn't be more different. Barbara's outlook on life has made her bitter, out-spoken and judgmental, while Pauline is warm, funny and accepting. They've never gotten along well, and Barbara's visit is sure to cause tension and stress for Pauline.Barbara's visit couldn't be at a worse time for Pauline. In her early 70's, she has finely started to come out of the fog of depression over her husband's death. She has made friends and a life for herself in the small village. But, Pauline has never been able to stand up to Barbara, so she has to make the most of the visit. One day out on a drive, Pauline accidentally hits a man named Bisto Mulligan with her car. He is injured and despite his unkempt appearance, she invites him into her home to recuperate. Bisto, in his mid-70's, is warm and funny. Over time the sisters realize he's not at all the person they thought he was. With Bisto's good humor and warm gestures toward the sisters and small town, he immediately earns a place in the hearts and minds of the small community. As the trio spend the spring, and then the summer together, each begins to make changes in their life and learns to embrace new loves and new adventures.This was a very cute, easy read. It's enjoyable to watch how the three main characters work through their respective issues and baggage to become happier, healthier people. The supporting characters add depth to the story and give the small village personality. The book gives hope that it's never too late to embrace happiness and change, and that age should never be a barrier to new love and new adventures. If you're looking for a light, easy, fun read, this is the book for you.I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    You know the way you can sometimes look at two people and wonder how on earth they can be from the same family? Well, that’s how it is with Barbara and Pauline. Barbara’s stiff and buttoned up, speaks her mind and doesn’t much thought to the impact, all sharp edges and disapproval – some might even say an archetypal spinster. And then there’s Pauline – soft around the edges, warm and eager to please, taking every opportunity for involvement in her local community, an all-round lovely lady. When You know the way you can sometimes look at two people and wonder how on earth they can be from the same family? Well, that’s how it is with Barbara and Pauline. Barbara’s stiff and buttoned up, speaks her mind and doesn’t much thought to the impact, all sharp edges and disapproval – some might even say an archetypal spinster. And then there’s Pauline – soft around the edges, warm and eager to please, taking every opportunity for involvement in her local community, an all-round lovely lady. When Barbara invites herself to stay, you can tell it’s not going to go well: you watch with mounting horror as she becomes increasingly obnoxious, with Pauline constantly trying to take the path of least resistance and calm the waters. Can you imagine what it’s like to be in your 70s and your sister still calls you “Pud”? I think I’d have packed Barbara’s bags for her…When Pauline knocks down Bisto as he leaves the village pub (there’s rather a recurring theme there) – to all appearances, an elderly and rather smelly vagrant – her soft heart makes her offer him a home for a while. You can imagine what Barbara thinks of that – particularly when he gets sozzled on the first night and relieves himself in next door’s rose bushes. But these are three characters about to go on a bit of a journey, and I loved every twist and turn along the way – Bisto might just not be quite what he seems, his secrets are slowly uncovered, and his presence changes everyone whose lives he touches.The three main characters are superb – their every interaction, the dialogue quite perfectly done, the insights as their new experiences begin to shape them into something different. And the set pieces – the welly throwing competition, the inter-village cricket match (complete with jugs of Pimms), the Shakespearean production on the village green – are just wonderful. Bisto invariably becomes everyone’s focus for attention before returning to the nearest beer tent, Pauline smiles indulgently, and Barbara bristles with embarrassment and indignation. The humour is ever present, and for my tastes perfectly judged – and then there’s that touch of poignancy too, the emotional note sometimes taking you by surprise. These are characters that you grow to love through the book’s course – and yes, I’ll even include Barbara in that statement.But if the main characters are magnificent, and considerably more complex than you might expect, the author also gives them a wonderfully drawn community to interact with. I think I’d like to live in Winsley Green, so vividly described – by the end of this book, I felt as competitive about neighbouring Milton Rogus as the residents did. Every single person in the village is fully rounded, alive on the page, however peripheral they might be – the bouncy female vicar, the surly farmer, the standoffish new neighbours, the eccentric novelist writing her bodice-rippers, the two old ladies at war all their lives because of an incident in their youth, the Greek god of a window cleaner who becomes an object of lust to hairdresser Dizzy… quite wonderfully done. Every small detail was enchanting – even the antics of murderous Derek and Clive (lest you worry, they’re cats), punctuating the story with their most recent corpses. At one point, Barbara is heard to say “It was never like this in Country Life magazine” – but it’s certainly considerably more fun.I know I’m older than the average reader, and I guess I was fairly guaranteed to enjoy this book – and I already knew I loved Judy Leigh’s wonderful writing. But if you’re not yet past your prime (and how wrong is that expression?), don’t be put off for an instant – the story’s simply wonderful, the theme of second chances will resonate whatever your age, there’s something for everyone among the characters, and I do defy anyone not to have a tear in their eye at the perfect ending. And I guarantee you’ll laugh – if you share my sense of humour, you’ll laugh a lot, as you wipe away a little tear. I adored this book – don’t miss it, whatever you do.
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  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    It is such a delightful change to have stories focussing on the antics of some members of the older generations! In this story after having a health scare 77 year old Barbara invites herself to stay with her sister, Pauline in a rural community. Barbara can't stand the countryside, is a loner, abrupt, standoffish and aggressive with no real filter when she makes comments. To be honest, I really didn't like her to start with! Pauline is her complete antithesis - gregarious, kind, caring, an activ It is such a delightful change to have stories focussing on the antics of some members of the older generations! In this story after having a health scare 77 year old Barbara invites herself to stay with her sister, Pauline in a rural community. Barbara can't stand the countryside, is a loner, abrupt, standoffish and aggressive with no real filter when she makes comments. To be honest, I really didn't like her to start with! Pauline is her complete antithesis - gregarious, kind, caring, an active member of the community and always ready to help anyone in need. The sisters don't really relate well to one another, they never have. However, when Pauline accidentally knocks down an elderly Irish gentleman, Bisto Mulligan, she ends up taking him home to give him time to recover from his injuries and life sure gets interesting for them all as they get to know each other and this brilliant community works its magic on them all.The story is packed with fun and laughter and the the whole community is an eclectic mix of fabulous characters who are superbly portrayed and easy to relate to. This is a story which shows that change can be brought about when we least expect it. Fate has a huge part to play in this story. It is story of community, life and living as well as finding romance in your later years. It is a story full of surprises and romance. There's definitely life left in these septuagenarians and lots of laughs along the way in this highly entertaining read -there's even a shiny thong involved in one scene that had me in stitches! I have no hesitation in highly recommending this fantastic story, great fun to escape into whatever your age! This is one of those rare stories that I suspect I'll remember snippets from and be giggling about for some time to come.I requested and was gifted a copy of this book and this is my honest review after thoroughly enjoying read it.
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    An easy to read, good fun book.The 2 sisters are great characters in their own right and adding complications made them even more funA good old fashioned story with an uplifting thread running throughout.
  • Rachel Gilbey
    January 1, 1970
    I really wasn't sure what to make of Barbara at first, shes a 77 year old spinster with rather forthright views on everything, doesn't see the point in romance, reading fiction, and had a habit of speaking her mind. She is rather set in her ways and has never really had a proper relationship with her sister Pauline. Pauline is the complete opposite and loves the little village she lives in, in Somerset, has friends in the community and generally is well liked. She is very kind hearted and when B I really wasn't sure what to make of Barbara at first, shes a 77 year old spinster with rather forthright views on everything, doesn't see the point in romance, reading fiction, and had a habit of speaking her mind. She is rather set in her ways and has never really had a proper relationship with her sister Pauline. Pauline is the complete opposite and loves the little village she lives in, in Somerset, has friends in the community and generally is well liked. She is very kind hearted and when Barbara has a bit of a fall, Pauline suggests she should come and stay for a few weeks to recuperate. To say the sisters don't get on smoothly at first is an understatement but everything becomes far more interesting when Bisto enters the mix (This is a man called Bisto and not actual gravy!). Barbara has rather set opinions about Bisto and is convinced he is a lying vagrant, when as readers we can see that there is definitely a lot more to the man than it first appears. I loved how this unlikely threesome spent their summer, and becoming more and more a part of life in Winsleigh Green. I loved the Welly Wanging contest, the explanation of the rules made me laugh. The bickering friends who seem to hate each other, the local farmer, the friendly vicar, oh and Dizzy, she's a breath of fresh air, even if she is rather unlucky in love. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters developed and changed over the course of the story and I was loving so much of this book. It really is an entertaining read that had me amused and interested too. I love how Judy Leigh always feature s characters of a certain age, and brings real life that you may not necessarily expect from that age-group. Thank you to Netgalley and Boldwood Books for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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  • Anjana
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book with unlikely protagonists. We are talking of two sisters well into their seventies having their own coming of age story. The elder and harder sister(Barbara), after a near death-like experience and an additional piece of advice by a medical professional, contacts her sister for an extended stay. The younger, softer sister is a widow (Pauline) who is finding out her own wants. She is a pillar of her community and actively involved in all the local culture. It is relatively easy to This is a book with unlikely protagonists. We are talking of two sisters well into their seventies having their own coming of age story. The elder and harder sister(Barbara), after a near death-like experience and an additional piece of advice by a medical professional, contacts her sister for an extended stay. The younger, softer sister is a widow (Pauline) who is finding out her own wants. She is a pillar of her community and actively involved in all the local culture. It is relatively easy to favour Pauline over Barbara when reading, unless if like me, you identify with the prickliness of the Elder sibling (we are all a team of our own for the most part!). It is also easy to forget the ages of the characters because of their extremely active lifestyle. It only comes into focus if they bring it up themselves or if they recollect something that occurred during the war.There is an addition of a temporary tramp whose life history is unknown but is a man with many skills. He settles down in the town for the duration of the narrative and acts as a catalyst for several changes. Taken together, it was an entertaining read with characters a lot older than I am used to reading the love lives of. I would definitely recommend it to readers of the genre.I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliant book which was so uplifting in its prose. I loved it. I loved the dynamics between two sisters who were in the slightly older age bracket, but absolutely young at heart and most times, in their escapades. I couldn't be that young ever. Barbara, after a health scare, came to saty with her sister Pauline. The love between them was evident though minor skirmishes do start occurring occasionally. When she knocked a vagrant down, she had to invite him home to recuperate. Bisto was the cat A brilliant book which was so uplifting in its prose. I loved it. I loved the dynamics between two sisters who were in the slightly older age bracket, but absolutely young at heart and most times, in their escapades. I couldn't be that young ever. Barbara, after a health scare, came to saty with her sister Pauline. The love between them was evident though minor skirmishes do start occurring occasionally. When she knocked a vagrant down, she had to invite him home to recuperate. Bisto was the catalyst who brought about a change in their lives.My second book by this author, I loved how real the characters felt. The writing brought out the antics of the sisters and made me get the feels. There was a poignancy and depth in it. The whole book felt superfluous as change soon started happening with new outlooks to love and life. It was the perfect escape from the realities of the world. Emotions and humor made it a delightful afternoon read.
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  • Courtney Stuart
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolute delight to read about vibrant, active, vital people older than 33 years of age in the day and age when youth is the only period of life that matters according to media and all too often portrayed in novels. The main characters of The Old Girls Network are in their mid-seventies, making this novel an absolute hoot to read as it pushes the boat out as to what a reader might find of interest in their fiction. The situations the trio of characters find themselves in are hilarious, a What an absolute delight to read about vibrant, active, vital people older than 33 years of age in the day and age when youth is the only period of life that matters according to media and all too often portrayed in novels. The main characters of The Old Girls Network are in their mid-seventies, making this novel an absolute hoot to read as it pushes the boat out as to what a reader might find of interest in their fiction. The situations the trio of characters find themselves in are hilarious, and yet the wisdom of a fully lived life shines through in every reaction. And the story has an undeniable funny streak.“Barbara’s life had been exemplary. Spotless even. But it had been a bit dull. …. She was a spinster for goodness sake. But at least she wasn’t a virgin. That would have been too hard to bear at the final gasp.”Barbara is a retired officer from the Air Force, something she takes great pride in. She is meticulous and methodical, sure that the Air Force couldn’t have functioned without her work. Pauline is her younger sister and is as opposite of Barbara as possible. Barbara is tall, skinny, short functional haircut and not a very tactful bone in her body. Pauline is shorter, rounder, softer, a mother hen without a brood to watch over since her only daughter has set up a life in New Zealand and her husband has died. The saying chalk and cheese was made for these two sisters, who haven’t actually been very involved in each other lives ever. But Barbara has a health scare and decides that to take the doctors orders of getting rest and relaxation she should invite herself to her sister's cottage in a little village in rural Somerset, England. At first, the women clash as they have at any point in their lives, but as luck would have it, Pauline accidentally runs down Bistro Mulligan, who to all intent and purpose looks like a vagrant wandering around the countryside with no plan or ability to look after himself. Out of guilt, Pauline takes Bistro into her home so that he can recover from his injuries and get back on his feet, which is exactly what Barbara wouldn’t do. At first, it appears that Bistro is nothing more than first meets the eye, and yet as time goes by, his story is revealed, changing how people view and treat him, although Pauline has believed in his goodness from the very start. As the summer goes by, the three people all living under Pauline’s roof become friends, with changes in behaviour and personality revealed in all three people. Several adventures ensue, including the possibility of a romance of two – even at their ages! This is a charming book, pure and simple, fun and engaging. The main characters are relatable and the life of the village is something that all city dwellers dream of at one time or another; even addressing the lack of privacy who are privy to all manner of interest to the local gossip mongers. The book explores the idea that people can be set in their way and the ability to change, grow and develop at any age. There is laugh out loud moments, and there are situations in which great tenderness is wrapped in clever storylines. The three main characters who you would be lucky to consider your friends, and the effect they have on the lives of those around them, as well as being affected by the same people, is winsome and joyful to read about. A wonderful story and one that which a follow-up sequel would be a welcome treat.
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  • Mary Grand
    January 1, 1970
    A delightfully warm, honest read. I loved the relationship between the sisters and how Barbara in particular developed. In a world that can be so difficult, it was good to read a story about kindness written with humour and insight.
  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this wonderful story about the little village of Winsleigh Green, and group of friends. Being over 60, it is nice to read about more mature characters, and Barbara (Babs), Pauline and Bisto were fantastic. This was an uplifting story that covered many themes that plague older persons. The estrangement of family, especially siblings is a common occurrence in life and reading about how these two ladies reconcile their differences, learn more about each other and come to genuinely I really enjoyed this wonderful story about the little village of Winsleigh Green, and group of friends. Being over 60, it is nice to read about more mature characters, and Barbara (Babs), Pauline and Bisto were fantastic. This was an uplifting story that covered many themes that plague older persons. The estrangement of family, especially siblings is a common occurrence in life and reading about how these two ladies reconcile their differences, learn more about each other and come to genuinely care about the other was beautiful. The friendship in this village was so apparent as the story went on. They were there for each other through thick and thin. Rallying around Bisto, the newcomer was awesome, of course, the fact that he was so likable, caring, humorous and smart had a lot to do with it as well. Finding oneself alone when you get oder is another thing many people face, so again reading about these characters putting themselves out there and not wallowing is a great message. The three main characters were so different. I did not like Barbara when the story began, which I am sure was the author's intent. Watching her blossom in Winsleigh Green with her sister was fun and I loved hearing what she would say next. She was snarky and had a very dry wit, but when the chips were down, she has some good advice. Pauline is the sweet, helpful, friendly type that everyone loved and came to for advice. Then there is Bisto. I do not want to give too much away about him, but he is finding himself after a few difficult things have happened in his life and Winsley Green, specifically Pauline, gives him the time and place to do that. This was a feel good story that I do not want to spoil for anyone, so will say, if you have a few hours to while away during the summer, pick this one up. It will take you on a journey to Winsleigh Green, introduce you to some wonderful new friends and have your smiling and laughing along with their antics and activities. If only I was fit enough to "Wang a Welly". If you want to know what that is all about, you need to read this book. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of the book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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  • Satabdi
    January 1, 1970
    The Old Girls’ Network is a breath of fresh air with its focus on seventy-somethings!If you like warm, funny, light-hearted, yet meaningful stories about country life, full of non-malicious village gossip and a supportive community, this book is for you.The pace of the story is leisurely– it takes its time to describe everything in detail–people, surroundings, or feelings.As compared to the second half of the novel, not much happens in the beginning and for a long while, I was wondering what the The Old Girls’ Network is a breath of fresh air with its focus on seventy-somethings!If you like warm, funny, light-hearted, yet meaningful stories about country life, full of non-malicious village gossip and a supportive community, this book is for you.The pace of the story is leisurely– it takes its time to describe everything in detail–people, surroundings, or feelings.As compared to the second half of the novel, not much happens in the beginning and for a long while, I was wondering what the point of the story was and where it was heading.There are many characters who populate the village of Winsley Green, but you never get lost in the jumble of names and events. Each person’s story is skillfully and engagingly described such that it leaves a distinct impression on the reader.I especially appreciated the light humor–it made a lot of difference to the story which has its heavy moments. The “Welly Wanging Contest” was hilarious and I enjoyed the whole episode so much! Don’t miss the 90-something arch enemies, Phyllis and Dulcie, who had a falling out in their youth. Bisto provides some laugh-out-loud moments–I cannot forget the last public “show” that he put up for Barbara’s benefit.The core of the novel is about two sisters, Pauline and Barbara, discovering a new lease of life after crossing their seventies, aided by the appearance of the mysterious Bisto Mulligan. His exact words are, “My philosophy on life is I won’t always be here, but while I am, I intend to make the most of it.”I didn’t think much of Bisto in the beginning, too, just like Barbara. But the way his character blossoms in each chapter made me look at him with new eyes–again, much like Barbara saw him in a new light.I found the idea of the elderly looking forward to life with fresh eyes quite radical. No tired cynicism, no boring lectures, no wise preaching. I’m yet to meet someone like the people at Winsley Green in real life!The book left me with such a good feeling in my heart and a smile on my lips. I’d recommend it for people who want a leisurely escape into a charming world populated by an eclectic mix of villagers.Thank you to the author and Rachel for my copy of the book!
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  • Gmr
    January 1, 1970
    I adored Pauline from the start, and honestly, WHO COULDN'T? She was such a sweetheart, always caring for someone in need, giving of herself in any situation she encountered, and never expecting anything in return. Barbara, on the other hand, was a bit more of an acquired taste, and quite honestly, by her self, I had no issues with her, but the moment she was in the vicinity of others, family or not, she could be quite a pill! We come to discover what was at the heart of all that (sort of), but I adored Pauline from the start, and honestly, WHO COULDN'T? She was such a sweetheart, always caring for someone in need, giving of herself in any situation she encountered, and never expecting anything in return. Barbara, on the other hand, was a bit more of an acquired taste, and quite honestly, by her self, I had no issues with her, but the moment she was in the vicinity of others, family or not, she could be quite a pill! We come to discover what was at the heart of all that (sort of), but still...be warned...you'll need to pull a Pauline and make room in your heart for her too by book's end. Bisto...what to say about Bisto...well, to not put too fine a point on it, he loved having a tipple a bit too much for my liking, and quite frankly A LOT of the trouble he got into while trying to drown his worldly issues was created as a result of it. Grant it, without having had a few too many, he wouldn't have been almost run down by Pauline and Barbara, thus eliminating the unique "meet cute" (of sorts), but dare I say he would have at least had his health? Anywho, eventually even he gets shown in a new light and while it's certainly more centered than our first encounter, I still couldn't say that I wanted to call him friend...maybe just an acquaintance. Though I've mentioned the main lot, there are quite a few others that make their presences known, for better or worse...but generally better...and they certainly do well in rounding out this cast of unique characters.In the end, it's a story about the strength of families, both blood and chosen, as well as our human right to getting a second chance. You'll laugh, you'll cringe, you may even skip off to have your own afternoon tea or tipple, but you'll certainly come back to the charming ways of Winsleigh Green and all the quirky ladies that make up this particular network.*ebook received for review; opinions are my own
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  • Lisa of Hopewell
    January 1, 1970
    The StorySisters Barbara and Pauline are both in their 70s, both alone, but on opposite poles in terms of relating to people. So, when Barbara has an accident and needs a place to stay, it is with real trepidation that Pauline agrees to open her home for her sister’s convalescence. Barbara spent her working life in an RAF uniform as a top secretary. Pauline was happily married and raised a daughter who now lives in New Zealand. She now has a full life as a widow in a country village, enjoying th The StorySisters Barbara and Pauline are both in their 70s, both alone, but on opposite poles in terms of relating to people. So, when Barbara has an accident and needs a place to stay, it is with real trepidation that Pauline agrees to open her home for her sister’s convalescence. Barbara spent her working life in an RAF uniform as a top secretary. Pauline was happily married and raised a daughter who now lives in New Zealand. She now has a full life as a widow in a country village, enjoying the attentions of a local farmer, taking yoga, and having a wide circle of friends. Barbara has only her memories of one man. She has locked herself away from any chance of having her heartbroken again.Just as the sisters are getting the hang of co-living, Pauline runs into a man who appears to be homeless. Her kind nature means she simply must invite the man, Bisto Mulligan, to recover in her home, much to Barbara’s horror. The tree of life is given a good hard shake. Which way will the fruit fall?My ThoughtsThis book is a delight from start-to-finish. Don’t question anything too deeply–it isn’t that kind of story! It’s just warm, sweet, a little funny, and very engaging. The wonderfully eccentric, but believable village residents add spice. Not expecting rural life to feature “Granny Clampet shooting beer bottles off the barbeque” is only the half of it! The “feral peril,” The Sheep Dip, and much more are here to delight anyone who comes along to Winsleigh Green. This isn’t Miss Read’s quaint village–after all they have yoga! It’s more like the village Jean and Lionel visit often in “As Time Goes By,” and just as endearing. Barbara is just enough Diana Trent from “Waiting For God” while Pauline is the good neighbor, but never precious. I swear she was written for Julie Walters! Now, put the kettle on and get out the fudge cupcakes, and keep Derek from bringing in any headless vermin.This is the perfect book for anyone to enjoy in quarantine or by a large body of water or while watching a game of village cricket.The Old Girls’ Network by Judy LeighMy Rating4 Pimm’s
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  • Rosemary Reeve
    January 1, 1970
    There’s a dream-like quality to the Somerset Village of Winsleigh Green. It’s an updated dream, as though the trope of the traditional English village has been stretched to try to accommodate inclusivity, tolerance, and sex after 70. In Winsleigh Green, festivals with Morris Dancers coexist with a yoga studio where ladies of all ages ogle the handsome window cleaner. The vicar is an enthusiastic, non-judgmental young woman with wise, life-changing counsel. Alcohol flows freely, but consequences There’s a dream-like quality to the Somerset Village of Winsleigh Green. It’s an updated dream, as though the trope of the traditional English village has been stretched to try to accommodate inclusivity, tolerance, and sex after 70. In Winsleigh Green, festivals with Morris Dancers coexist with a yoga studio where ladies of all ages ogle the handsome window cleaner. The vicar is an enthusiastic, non-judgmental young woman with wise, life-changing counsel. Alcohol flows freely, but consequences of over-imbibing are mild and quickly mitigated. Neighbors bicker but care about each other. Older women are sought-after knockouts, and people are grateful for firm, heart-felt advice. The copious gossip has a kindly tone and intent. If people are not what they seem, they are even better once you get to know them. Even the laws of nature seem to have been repealed: Sunshine makes elderly skin look great. Into this happy setting comes guarded and opinionated Barbara. She’s suffered a health scare that offends her as much as it alarms her. She leaves her home in Cambridge to try to strengthen her distant relationship with her widowed sister, Pauline, who is the embodiment of Winsleigh Green – sunny, caring, flexible, and popular. Barbara sniffs at her sister’s Buddha bedspread but envies her empathy and popularity. The plot of the book turns on how the sisters will influence each other, and how that influence will affect their next steps toward happiness. When Pauline hits an inebriated man with her car and insists on moving him into her home to recuperate, additional complications and misunderstandings ensue. I really enjoyed the village setting, the deep look at the many and varied characters, including the cats (“The Feral Peril”), and some of the gorgeous descriptions. The scene of small plane flight at sunset is particularly beautiful, delicately conveying the exhilaration of speed, color, and lift – and the meaning of the journey for the characters. I wish the author had shown more and told less. Barbara’s predicament was resonant: the wounded and awkward person who always feels she is going to say the wrong thing, so she distances herself from others. I did not need to be told repeatedly about why Barbara acted as she did. The resolution of the romantic relationships felt forced, like a rom-com. And some of the coarse scenes, apparently meant to be funny, just fall flat.Overall, though – who wouldn’t want to spend some time in Winsleigh Green, where everyone has your best interest at heart and your skin will look fantastic? Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Emandherbooks
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of two sisters, who learn to fall back in love again, in more than one way. It was heartwarming, fuzzy and very amusing. I was invested in the two main characters from the very beginning and both of their journeys. I love reading about the village, I could image being there which I was flicking through the pages.It was written very well with believable dialogue and flowing language throughout.I would recommend this book! You'll fall in love with the sisters.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a fan of Judy's work for a while now and I have read and loved each of her books to date. I read the synopsis for 'The Old Girls' Network' and it certainly sounded like the kind of light hearted, feel good, funny read that I so needed. I was spot on because I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Old Girls' Network' but more about that in a bit.I absolutely loved the characters of Pauline and Bisto and I even eventually warmed to the character of Barbara, who is Pauline's sister. Although I have been a fan of Judy's work for a while now and I have read and loved each of her books to date. I read the synopsis for 'The Old Girls' Network' and it certainly sounded like the kind of light hearted, feel good, funny read that I so needed. I was spot on because I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Old Girls' Network' but more about that in a bit.I absolutely loved the characters of Pauline and Bisto and I even eventually warmed to the character of Barbara, who is Pauline's sister. Although I must admit that I did want to slap Barbara silly with a wet fish for the way in which she spoke to people and in particular how she treated her sister. I think that my animosity to Barbara has a lot to do with the fact that she reminds me of several members of my family. Pauline is a lovely lady, who has been through some tough times but she has made a life for herself and she is settled where she lives. Barbara invites herself to stay with Pauline following her discharge from hospital and Pauline doesn't have any option but to let her stay. Pauline knocks Bisto over in her car and she ends up allowing him to stay at her home. Bisto is a bit of an enigma to start with but he is a kind hearted man, who tells it like it is and he is also rather funny. I did wonder how all three characters would get along with each other in the same house given that they have such different personalities.Oh my word, I was drawn into this story from the first word on the first page. To say that reading 'The Old Girls' Network' became a serious addiction is a massive understatement. I couldn't bear to be parted from the book for any length of time. It was as if the book had developed a hold over me and it was a hold I wasn't willing to break. The book wasn't exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me. It will come as no surprise that I managed to binge read the book over the course of a single day. For me, 'The Old Girls' Network' was an unputdownable, page turner of a read. I found myself chuckling away to myself throughout the book. They say that laughter is the best medicine and well that's true because this book did more to cheer me up than any medication could have done.'The Old Girls' Network' is superbly written but then I wouldn't expect anything else from Judy Leigh. She creates some adorable characters, who are impossible to dislike and even the ones who aren't that adorable to start with, seem to redeem themselves. I love the way in which Judy described Winsley Green, which is where Pauline lives. In fact Judy described the village so well that I was all set to pack my bags and move in with Pauline. Before anybody says anything, yes I know 'The Old Girls' Network' is a work of fiction but I find that if I enjoy a book as much as I enjoyed this one then I tend to 'live' the story as if it were real. I felt part of this story myself, which is thanks to Judy's very vivid and realistic storytelling.In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Old Girls' Network' and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I will certainly be reading more of Judy's work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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  • Janice
    January 1, 1970
    What is it that ‘they’ say … “old age isn’t for the faint-hearted”? Well that’s certainly true in some cases but for those who embrace it and make the most of it, it can be just as good, if not better, than being young!Barbara is in her late 70’s and after a bit of a health scare (where she wakes up assuming she’s died), invites herself to stay with her sister Pauline, of a similar age, to convalesce. Pauline knows that she should have said no to Barbara’s bossy intrusion, but realises that this What is it that ‘they’ say … “old age isn’t for the faint-hearted”? Well that’s certainly true in some cases but for those who embrace it and make the most of it, it can be just as good, if not better, than being young!Barbara is in her late 70’s and after a bit of a health scare (where she wakes up assuming she’s died), invites herself to stay with her sister Pauline, of a similar age, to convalesce. Pauline knows that she should have said no to Barbara’s bossy intrusion, but realises that this would have presented a whole new set of problems, so allowed her sister to just arrive. To say that these two are polar opposites would be an understatement.Barbara is a no-nonsense spinster who has no time for soppy sentimentality and dilly-dallying. She’s all sharp edges and tactless criticism. Pauline is a widow with a daughter living in New Zealand. She is a lot softer and friendlier than her sister, and enjoys her established life in the Somerset village of Winsleigh Green … and now her sister has come barging in to change all of that.But then on a drive into the village, Pauline accidentally knocks over elderly Bisto Mulligan with her car. He looks like a grubby vagrant, and Barbara, always quick to judge, immediately writes him off as a drunkard who’s lurched in front of their vehicle. But much to her horror, Pauline spots something else in Bisto’s eyes and realises there’s a lot more to this man, beyond what he looks like on the outside, and she invites him to come and stay at her cottage, just so that he can get his bearings again. After all – it was her who knocked him down!Over the summer, these three very unexpectedly form a highly unlikely bond. As the sisters discover that Bisto certainly isn’t just a homeless drifter, he captures their hearts, and weaves his way into the daily life of the village and its residents. As I read, I often found a subconscious smile on my face, so it seems he didn’t only have that effect on everybody else, but on me as well! What a delightful story about older people discovering that life undoubtedly does continue after your 40’s and 50’s and after tragedy and loss, whether that loss is of a partner, a career or a child leaving home. It’s just gorgeous.And what a breath of fresh air for readers to discover that there are books out there that aren’t only about young 20- and 30-somethings going out into the world, making mistakes, finding and losing lovers and friends, only to encounter new ones in unlikely places, and maybe even rediscovering those same ones later on along the journey. There are some fabulous laugh-out-loud moments: I think I re-read the beginning where Barbara assumes she’s dead at least a dozen times – don’t judge me, it’s hilarious! The Welly Wanging competition rules are really funny, as is Barbara’s running commentary (in her head) of her first yoga class!! There are others, but this is just a taste!This is a lovely, heartwarming 5-star read. Village life is always bound to be full of interesting, amusing characters and Judy Leigh has skillfully managed to create a fabulous bunch here! I adored them.
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  • Gill
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book, it was a delight to read.  Again, in this, the authors fourth novel, the central characters are in their twilight years and to be honest I find them the most fun to read about.  They may be ageing, but they're not done with life yet.The story is set in an English country village - Winsleigh Green during a warm, quintessentially English summer.  I loved this little village, somewhere I'd definitely be happy living.Through the first half of the book Barbara does tend to I really enjoyed this book, it was a delight to read.  Again, in this, the authors fourth novel, the central characters are in their twilight years and to be honest I find them the most fun to read about.  They may be ageing, but they're not done with life yet.The story is set in an English country village - Winsleigh Green during a warm, quintessentially English summer.  I loved this little village, somewhere I'd definitely be happy living.Through the first half of the book Barbara does tend to be a bit of a misery guts.  A typical spinster, she's set in her ways, straight laced and speaks as she finds.  Completely different to her sister who's a far happier person with a sunny disposition and a desire to embrace village life and offer help to anyone who might need it.  When Barbara first turns up on Pauline's doorstep and invites herself to stay, Pauline soon starts to regret making her welcome and it's not long before she recalls why they just don't get along.  However, she does feel sorry for her sister and lucky for Barbara, Pauline has quite a forgiving nature and is willing to bite her tongue and put up with her grumpiness.When they literally bump into a stranger in the village, Bisto Mulligan, who steps out into the road in front of Pauline's car, Pauline decides to offer this odd but pleasant and apparent vagrant, a temporary roof over his head while he recovers.  She feels it's the least she can do after running him over.  Much to the disapproval of Barbara.So the story centres around these three elderly folk and follows them through the many ups and downs of village life.  Whilst you're reading you don't really think of them as being in their 70's.  There are lots of supporting characters within the village to liven things up.  There are all the typical things that go on like the village fete, a welly throwing competition, yoga in the village hall, a sexy window cleaner, village gossip, a touch of romance here and there.  It all adds up to fun and frolics in the sun.A light hearted, uplifting and funny read but with touching moments scattered amongst the fun here and there.  It's a wonderful story to read in the garden in the sunshine, with a cool drink by your side to take you away from all the upheaval we're experiencing at this present time.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    When prickly Barbara decides to spend some time with her widowed younger sister Pauline in her sleepy little village, they both soon realise it was a bad idea. Barbara is so critical, with no time for village gossip or Pauline's odd friends. Pauline is ready to ask her sister to leave when she accidentally hits Bisto Mulligan with her car. Dirty, drunk, and now concussed, he doesn't look like much - but his presence proves the catalyst they all need and it will be a summer none of them will ever When prickly Barbara decides to spend some time with her widowed younger sister Pauline in her sleepy little village, they both soon realise it was a bad idea. Barbara is so critical, with no time for village gossip or Pauline's odd friends. Pauline is ready to ask her sister to leave when she accidentally hits Bisto Mulligan with her car. Dirty, drunk, and now concussed, he doesn't look like much - but his presence proves the catalyst they all need and it will be a summer none of them will ever forget.Judy Leigh has written a classic village-life comedy, full of characters - the warring neighbours, the townies who moved in next door, the handsome handyman, the quiet farmer... perhaps they start as caricatures but are painted with such warmth and depth, each one fits perfectly into the whimsical tapestry of Winsley Green as we get to see them through Barbara's slowly mellowing gaze and Pauline's affectionate point of view.Barbara starts as a character you almost love to hate but it quickly becomes apparent that behind her walls is a hurt woman with a heart of gold. It's almost comical, almost tragic, as she reassesses her life with the same critical eye that she uses on everyone else. And then buys a self-help book.Pauline is a more sympathetic point of view but perhaps is less interesting, while Bisto is a mystery with his own tangled past that we get to untangle over the course of the book. Also, did I mention that all three main characters are over 70? Because they are and it's really cool to see older characters get the limelight, have fun, and fall in love. It's funny, emotional, and overall a good time.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources; all opinions are my own
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  • Anna || BooksandBookends
    January 1, 1970
    After 77-year-old Barbra has a health scare in hospital, she decides to leave Cambridge and visit her sister, Pauline. Despite the pair never being close, she thinks some time together will do her good. The hilarious and heartwarming village Winsley Green accepts Barbra with open arms and give her the courage to make much needed changes to her monotonous lifestyle. I'll be honest and say that I absolutely hated Barbra initially. She comes across as cruel, unempathetic and at times downright mean After 77-year-old Barbra has a health scare in hospital, she decides to leave Cambridge and visit her sister, Pauline. Despite the pair never being close, she thinks some time together will do her good. The hilarious and heartwarming village Winsley Green accepts Barbra with open arms and give her the courage to make much needed changes to her monotonous lifestyle. I'll be honest and say that I absolutely hated Barbra initially. She comes across as cruel, unempathetic and at times downright mean. Her character growth over the course of the book was my favourite to read. I felt like she developed so much during her time with Pauline in Winsley Green. She blossomed and gained so much confidence, it was a delight to read her story.There are so many loveable characters in the village it seems like a truly magic community. It's a story that's jam packed with laughs and fun and it made this a delight to read. The community have so many hilarious events happening through the book such as: welly wanging, a fete like no other and even an outdoor Shakespeare play.One scene in this book particularly had me giggling. Thinking about it now is still putting a smile on my face. It's definitely an amusing read and not necessarily what you'd expect from characters in their 70s. I think I'll remember this book, and this scene in particular for a long time to come! It's a treat of a read.With brilliant characters and hilarious antics, this is definitely a cosy read you'll not want to miss. I received a copy of the book from the book's publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    This is delightful book and it made me laugh at many of the things Bisto said and did. It was so refreshing to read a book that centred around two senior woman who lived their lives like they were 20 years younger. Pauline and Barbara couldn’t be any more different both physically and emotionally yet they managed to live together and not have any arguments which is a big accomplishment. I wanted to move in with them and attend all the events in the village and go have a pint at the pub. Every on This is delightful book and it made me laugh at many of the things Bisto said and did. It was so refreshing to read a book that centred around two senior woman who lived their lives like they were 20 years younger. Pauline and Barbara couldn’t be any more different both physically and emotionally yet they managed to live together and not have any arguments which is a big accomplishment. I wanted to move in with them and attend all the events in the village and go have a pint at the pub. Every one in the village were great with unique characters that blended together to make a warm and inviting community with the exception of the two old ladies and their vendettas against each other. These two added some laughs with their antics. This book was very light reading and was perfect for this time where our world is looking bleak and scary. I was able to forget everything and step into the village. A wonderful mixture of romance and relationships without the seriousness that some romance novels bring. The author wrote in a way that I could picture these characters without getting carried away with overly descriptive words. The entire book flowed smoothly through the chapters and before I knew it I was done. I was a little sad to say goodbye to these characters but I loved the ending. I was left with a warm and cosy feeling and there isn’t any more you can ask for with a book. Many thanks to Boldwood Boosks. NetGalley and Judy Leigh for the opportunity to read this wonderful book.
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  • Kate Avery
    January 1, 1970
    This is the kind of book that really injects a bit of joy into your life, it’s heartwarming, uplifting and definitely a feel good book that will give you some laughs.I quite enjoyed the fact that all the characters were later on in life, it’s nice to have characters that have already been through a lot and still have so much to enjoy and to do. The setting of Winsley Green really adds to the story, a little place where everyone knows each others business, great for support but also gossip.I like This is the kind of book that really injects a bit of joy into your life, it’s heartwarming, uplifting and definitely a feel good book that will give you some laughs.I quite enjoyed the fact that all the characters were later on in life, it’s nice to have characters that have already been through a lot and still have so much to enjoy and to do. The setting of Winsley Green really adds to the story, a little place where everyone knows each others business, great for support but also gossip.I liked that Pauline and Barbara were so different, Barbara is quite sharp and opinionated whereas Pauline is warm and fits in easily, it was nice to see their relationship develop from perfunctory into something meaningful and made even more fun by the appearance of the quirky and at times mysterious Bisto.Of course this change, especially in Barbara is helped along by the other residents of Winsley, you really feel that community spirit start to seep into Barbara the longer she stays there. There are dramas galore for the other residents and a few good events (I’d never heard of welly wanging before but it’ll have you in stitches) and these start to open her, and Bisto, up to the possibility of a different way of life.The Old Girls’ Network has all the right ingredients for a wonderfully lighthearted and engaging read, it has characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and I would recommend it if you are looking for a fun distraction.Originally posted on everywhere and nowhere
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  • Honestmamreader
    January 1, 1970
    Barbara and Pauline are sisters, but they are very much like chalk and cheese. So different in their attitudes and perspectives on lives. When Barbara has a bit of a health scare, she reluctantly decides to live with Pauline for a while to recuperate. Whilst out driving they knock over Bisto Mulligan. Pauline being the ever nice citizen takes it upon herself to invite Bisto into her home to get better. The combination of these three characters is a great idea. Pauline has lived in Winsley Green Barbara and Pauline are sisters, but they are very much like chalk and cheese. So different in their attitudes and perspectives on lives. When Barbara has a bit of a health scare, she reluctantly decides to live with Pauline for a while to recuperate. Whilst out driving they knock over Bisto Mulligan. Pauline being the ever nice citizen takes it upon herself to invite Bisto into her home to get better. The combination of these three characters is a great idea. Pauline has lived in Winsley Green for three years now, and has settled in to the village life well. Barbara on the other hand, doesn't quite understand the ways of the village. And, her outspoken and honest views can cause a bit of trouble. Bisto, uses his Irish charm to settle in to life. Winsley Green has a very colourful cast of characters dwelling there. Judy Leigh writes this story so well I felt like I was a part of the community and gossipping with the locals over a cup of tea.Whilst reading The Old Girls Network I kept comparing it to Last Of The Summers Wine and Heartbeat. It had all the wonderful elements that is needed for a good ole village saga. Laughs, love, neighbourly disputes, a local pub, village fetes, a hunky window cleaner. This story had it all. The Old Girls Network was truly an easy escape from reality. A light hearted read full of fun and joy. Will Barbara and Pauline ever see eye to eye though?
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  • Misfits farm
    January 1, 1970
    Barbara is staying with her sister after having a fall due to low blood pressure. Both ladies are in their seventies, Barbara never having married and Pauline now a widow. On a trip one day Pauline knocks over what she thinks is a drunken vagrant. Enter Bisto- so named as a child as he loved to smell the cooking just like the kids in the advert of the same name. He says he was on his way to his chateau in France and has lost his belongings and wallet. He is filthy and stinks of drink. Pauline is Barbara is staying with her sister after having a fall due to low blood pressure. Both ladies are in their seventies, Barbara never having married and Pauline now a widow. On a trip one day Pauline knocks over what she thinks is a drunken vagrant. Enter Bisto- so named as a child as he loved to smell the cooking just like the kids in the advert of the same name. He says he was on his way to his chateau in France and has lost his belongings and wallet. He is filthy and stinks of drink. Pauline is more trusting and Barbara maybe like most of us thinks “ yeah right- not!”. She is a rather reserved solitary type of person, different from her friendly, gregarious sister who knows and interacts with most people in her village. Pauline insists on taking Bisto in for a while whilst he recovers, and so begins some adventures both with Bisto and of Barbara wondering if how she has led her life has been the best path. I enjoyed this, it's a lighthearted look at life and how we sometimes interact with others- or not. This is one of those reads that can stop time, take you back to time and places in your life and how you or others have dealt with situations. Maybe not a bad thing. I loved Bisto, he is a wonderful character and someone I will remember long after finishing the book. I smiled and it took me to a happy place. Five big stars from me.
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  • Grace J Reviewerlady
    January 1, 1970
    Such fun! Just that little bit different but oh, so very entertaining!Barbara and Pauline are sisters who don't get on (I know the feeling!); but when Barbara has a bit or a turn, she announces that she is going to stay with Pauline to recover. Faced with this fait accompli, Pauline hopes that finally they can rub along together. When Pauline is inadvertently involved in an accident injuring Bisto Mulligan who, to all extents and purposes, is a bit of a vagrant she immediately takes him into her Such fun! Just that little bit different but oh, so very entertaining!Barbara and Pauline are sisters who don't get on (I know the feeling!); but when Barbara has a bit or a turn, she announces that she is going to stay with Pauline to recover. Faced with this fait accompli, Pauline hopes that finally they can rub along together. When Pauline is inadvertently involved in an accident injuring Bisto Mulligan who, to all extents and purposes, is a bit of a vagrant she immediately takes him into her home to allow his injuries to heal - much to her sister's horror. Will these three manage to survive together peacefully?Who knew that two ladies in their seventies could be so lively and entertaining? I loved Winsleigh Green (spelled 'Winsley' in the novel); it's full of a fantastic range of characters each with their own idiosyncrasies. As with any village, there is always plenty going on; life can be very busy if you want it to be and I enjoyed all the interaction. A lighthearted story with more than a dollop of truth in the pages but also threaded through with humour. This is an easy, feel-good read - my first by this author but I'll definitely watch out for any future books. Well-written and enjoyable, I'm very happy to give this one 4*.
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  • Cozy Cat Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    This book is delightful ! The type of book that leaves you feeling better and happier for having read it. I loved that the author has the foresight to feature charcters over 60 as this is so rare in today's authors. We seniors are tired of reading about overindulged 30 somethings with trust funds and no intelligence but all written as young and beautiful as if that matters at all . We would rather spend our reading time relating to those of our age and especially a delightful. story such as the This book is delightful ! The type of book that leaves you feeling better and happier for having read it. I loved that the author has the foresight to feature charcters over 60 as this is so rare in today's authors. We seniors are tired of reading about overindulged 30 somethings with trust funds and no intelligence but all written as young and beautiful as if that matters at all . We would rather spend our reading time relating to those of our age and especially a delightful. story such as the author has created here. based on real women and issues of our age. Well done to the author . Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity for review. I loved this book and highly recommend it for your reading enjoyment. I love the two sisters, both quite different. When one moves in with the other to convalescence we see their relationship change amid much laughter . They take a person in to stay with them who one of them ran over with their car and suddenly they have three seniors, all very different finding their way as friends and enjoying life together in new ways. I don't want to give away more.. This is such a good book you should discover it for yourself. I loved reading this . Review cross posted.
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  • Mystica
    January 1, 1970
    Pauline and Barbara are sisters with widely different personalities. Pauline recently widowed is a bubbly person willing to look on the bright side of anyone and Barbara is a negative, gloomy pessimist always thinking that everyone is out to either cheat her, rob her or do something to her. It does not make for a good mix when Barbara comes to convalesce at Pauline's home From the word go you realize that sparks are going to fly as Barbara is critical not just of Pauline's home to her friends an Pauline and Barbara are sisters with widely different personalities. Pauline recently widowed is a bubbly person willing to look on the bright side of anyone and Barbara is a negative, gloomy pessimist always thinking that everyone is out to either cheat her, rob her or do something to her. It does not make for a good mix when Barbara comes to convalesce at Pauline's home From the word go you realize that sparks are going to fly as Barbara is critical not just of Pauline's home to her friends and to Bisto the man Pauline accidentally runs over and who to all accounts looks like a tramp. The story goes on covering a whole series of events in a rural village with all the usual characters from the lord of the manor to the publicans to the doctor and his wife, to the newcomers who seem a bit distant. Each one is a different type of person and the characters make up for an interesting whole.Dealing with relationships, mellowing and relaxing as you get older, getting less judgemental are the lessons to be learnt from the older sisters in this story.
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  • Pam Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    This is certainly a delightful book with some original characters who grow before your eyes. My favourite has to be the spiky Barbara, who starts off the book at her lowest and who slowly loses some of the protective shell she has armoured herself with. The relationship between the two sisters emerges and there are some poignant moments between them. Bisto, of course, seems to undergo the most change as you learn the truth about his life and he has quite a few surprises and hidden talents. Wit This is certainly a delightful book with some original characters who grow before your eyes. My favourite has to be the spiky Barbara, who starts off the book at her lowest and who slowly loses some of the protective shell she has armoured herself with. The relationship between the two sisters emerges and there are some poignant moments between them. Bisto, of course, seems to undergo the most change as you learn the truth about his life and he has quite a few surprises and hidden talents. With a cast of quirky characters and some dry and witty lines, this is a book to cheer you up and can truly be described as heart-warming. The yoga session has to be one of the high spots for me! It is the sort of book which offers you both humour and pathos and I would like to think that there could be return trips to visit Pauline, Barbara, Bisto et al. In short: As Len would say: Laughter. Tears. Perfect.
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