Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd
Publishing Date: 6th October 2016
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 464
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can’t be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship.
They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.
They offer each other a second chance at life and love.
But will they have the courage to take it?
“Thursdays in the Park” is being re – issued five years after the novel became the ebook phenomenon. I’ve only read one book by Hillary Boyd, “A Most Desirable Marriage”, and enjoyed it immensely, so I was truly happy when the opportunity of reading and reviewing “Thursdays in the Park” came my way. It quickly turned out that this book is much more than it seemed – it’s deep, complex and very emotional story – a great mix of many issues, such us love, betrayal, depression, feeling guilty, shame.
What I so enjoyed in this story is that the author let us see the world through 60 – year – old Jeanie’s eyes and bring it to attention that her world is not so different to our own, only because she is older. It also makes us aware of the fact that being older doesn’t mean the end of the world and that you can enjoy your life exactly as your children or grandchildren. I really liked how Ms Boyd portrayed the romance in Jeanie’s life like the first true love, even though Jeanie was sure that this part of her life is already sealed. She shows true passion and true feelings in conflict to feeling responsible and also ashamed.
It was also great to have a character that is already mature, for a change, as so often the heroines are young, dynamic and skinny sex bombs (although lately the heroines that I meet in the books are not so skinny and not so young, which is a great thing, as I have a feeling that chick – lit is growing and maturing together with me!). Jeanie is a very likeable character and I immediately warmed to her. She was honest with herself and with others, she had dilemmas, she led a very normal life with her husband and daughter. That is, to say, normal life outside, on the surface, as she and her husband had their own problems, even though George behaved as if nothing was happening. To be honest, I despised him almost immediately, there was something so sneaky and slick in him, I just couldn’t help feeling suspicious towards him, and each time he said “old girl” to Jeanie I wanted to shout and slap him, strong! He never took Jeanie seriously and he behaved as if he knew everything better and the way he decided about everything drove me nuts! But here we also come to a point where I must admit that Jeanie, even with my whole liking her, annoyed me as well – she just could not make up her mind, and I don’t mean Ray here, I mean her whole life. I wouldn’t like to be for example in an accident where my life would depend on Jeanie and her ability to make a decision. She let all the others to walk over her and I’ve no idea why she allowed her husband to carry on with the plans about their future. THEIR future. Jeanie was also involved. Or at least should have been, because she behaved as if she was frozen. She let George, their daughter and son – in – law to bully her into decisions even though she didn’t agree with them – but in fact it was not a wonder, as she almost never gave an opinion of her own. I really, really wanted her to finally speak up for herself! But other than that I fell for her and I kept everything crossed for her.
As we are talking about characters, the little Ellie – and I’m sorry – only annoyed me with her baby talk. Maybe it was adequate to her age, and maybe it was supposed to make the story a little lighter and brighter, but somehow it just didn’t work for me. Not many authors can write a really great children characters.
This book was so very honest in my opinion, there was nothing too far – fetched or unrealistic and I really liked it, and also, probably because of this, the story seemed to flow effortlessly. Sure, we can maybe say that there were moments when it felt as if we’re staying in place or going in circles, but on the other hand Jeanie was supposed to take the biggest decision of her life, so it is normal that it took some time. There is also, as there is a romance element, this will they/won’t they going on, but when sometimes it drags on and on making the story boring, this time it was done in a way that kept me hooked and interested. There were some twists and turns and curveballs thrown at the characters, maybe not life changing but nevertheless such that made the reading captivating.
This book shows that love can happen anytime, no matter what – it is not only the exclusive right of young people. It’s realistic and full of feelings, it’s sad but also uplifting and it also evoked many emotions in me as a reader, which is always hotly welcome, as it’s a sign of a great book. A story about one woman’s journey to happiness, to eventually finding her luck, about different relationships and family bonds. It is very well written, it kept me glued to the pages and I can only recommend it to you – I think you won’t regret reading “Thursdays in the Park”!
FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR: