This is the tale of a woman on the speedy downhill slope to 50. Her son is off travelling in Canada, her daughter is about to start University, her mum has died, her dad is becoming increasingly frail, her husband has left her for a (much younger) woman and she is about to be made redundant. As if this wasn't enough it looks like the menopause is in full flow. What is a woman to do - well, it would appear she is going to consume copious quantities of gin in multiple forms but mainly with tonic or of the sloe variety.
This could so easily have become a very depressing book. After all, when you get to a certain age you automatically feel sidelined by society; add on emotional upheaval from newly adult children and the hormonal storms it is a recipe for disaster. Luckily the author manages to give a true enough depiction of women of a "certain age" with wit and warmth - even a dollop or two of wisdom.
We only ever really see things from Jen's point of view and I relish the fact that she is not afraid to think, or say, some quite uncomplimentary things about others. Be honest, we all do it - unless you are Pollyanna. Sadly, this means that the only character that has any depth is Jen herself and everyone else comes across as a little bit of a stereotype.
I also had a couple of issues with the plot of the vaguely corrupt councillor who comes good in the end. I know gin is really in vogue at the moment but I am not so sure that it would be so easy to get a licence for a micro-distillery. There seemed to be no inspections of the equipment or even Health & Safety regulations to be met (yes, I do know how that makes me sound).
I appreciate that this is a certain genre of book and should be allowed the necessary leeway of reality or else we won't get the uplifting ending that we are reading for. That is why we read these books isn't it - to make us smile? Sadly, sometimes the plot trumps reality to such an extent that it does end up spoiling the tale - regrettably, this was the case for me in this book.
A breezy read, that is perfect for the poolside or curled up with a book of chocolates. Nothing demanding in either content or approach but warm and will raise a smile or two; if not a muttered "Yep, that's me" or two.
I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.