BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 29, 2023

Review: The Sunshine Club by Dee MacDonald

Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 25th, 2023
Buying Links: Amazon USA* 
* affiliate link; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through this link.

Blurb from goodreads:

You’re never too old for an adventure…

Eve , Nessa and Molly are all in their seventies. Over the years, they’ve laughed and cried and they’ve been by each others’ sides as colleagues, flatmates and mothers. And they’ve grown old disgracefully together in their golden years…

But all good things must come to an end. As one of their trio takes her final journey, a very large glass is raised to fun, frolics and – most importantly – friendships.

Throwing their walking sticks into the wind, the glamorous grannies take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the highlights of their shared decades – their lovely old London flat, that fateful trip to Italy and the many holidays they had together, brimming with sun, sand and sangria!

And as an old secret unravels, they learn that love, forgiveness and second chances are possible whatever age you are. And that laughter really is the best medicine…

A laugh-out-loud, inspiring and joyously uplifting novel about love, friendship and making the most of second chances! The perfect feel-good novel for fans of Cathy Hopkins, Dawn French and Judy Leigh.

My Thoughts:

I liked the blurb and the cover for this; I do like women's fiction and I haven't read much about planes and flying. And that cover, so cheery and reminiscent of summertime. :)

Vanessa, Eve, and Molly when they apply to be flight stewardesses in England in the early 60s. Boy, has flying on planes and the services changed over the years! I wish I had been around to enjoy it. Anyway, Vanessa, Molly and Eve get hired, rent an apartment together and become friends. We see glimpses of their lives over the years, with the ups and down of their friendship and their romantic lives. MacDonald shares not only the joys of flight but the long hours, crazy schedule and challenges of the job.It had its glamorous moments but also had drudgery.

As Vanessa, Molly and Eve juggle their work, they also juggle their dreams, their love lives and mistakes and regrets. Their lives diverged greatly over the years and they fought at times but always came back together. Seeing their friendship and the care they gave was wonderful. Even when I wanted to slap one or more of them, I always cheered them on and hoped they would find or make some happiness. 

Minor spoiler: 

One character ends up dealing with cancer. I wish I'd known beforehand as I try to avoid fiction books with cancer. I've dealt with it in my real life; I don't need it in my fiction. It's not a huge part of the story but it does lead to a major development for that character. 

End spoiler.

While "The Sunshine Club" was not laugh-out-loud funny as the blurb says, it was an enjoyable, emotional, sometimes humorous read. It was slow to draw me in, I put it down a few times, but I was gradually sucked in and ended up sitting for several hours and finishing it. I loved the decades-long friendship, the flying details, the descriptions of locales and people, and the emotional journeys of the main characters and some of the side characters.

About the Author: 

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years.

She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70!

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