It was time for some lighter reading; I've been indulging in a lot of thought-provoking and challenging non-fiction books so I thought I'd give my brain a break with a bit of a fiction. And what better than a story about an elderly lady who's obsessed with penguins going to Antarctica?
On first impression, this book was charming, amusing and relatable as we meet Veronica McCreedy, a grumpy and wealthy British woman barking orders at her housemaid. I could immediately see characteristics in Veronica that isn't uncommon for people of her class and age. The author did a wonderful job of showing Veronica's obvious flaws while managing to get the reader to like her - particularly through her concerns over the welfare of penguins. We then see Veronica's desire to connect with others, something she is currently failing to do, through the introduction of Patrick - her grandson who she's never met.
As Veronica goes off on an adventure and we're given more details about her earlier life through a clever working of Patrick's character, we start to discover more about deep human longing following trauma and pain. The front cover of my edition compared the book to 'Eleanor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine' and I'd definitely agree with that. Like Eleanor, Veronica is lonely to the extent that her approach to life is almost humorous and puts a sweet smile on your face, while also inciting feelings of heartbreak over her vulnerability.
It's a five star read for me. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
As a writer, this book was inspiring, not only because it was well-structured but the care the author had taken over the depth of the characters was apparent. I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for a fun, but real, holiday read!
Have happy days,