by Beth Morrey
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 6 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 6 Aug 2021
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction, HarperCollins
Seventy-nine is too late for a second chance. Isn’t it?
Missy Carmichael is prickly, stubborn – and terribly lonely. Until a chance encounter in the park with two very different women opens the door to something new. Something wonderful.
Missy was used to her small, solitary existence, listening to her footsteps echoing around the empty house, the tick-tick-tick of the watching clock. After all, she had made her life her way.
Now another life is beckoning to Missy – if she’s brave enough…
‘A touching, deftly written debut that celebrates community and kindness’ Sunday Times
‘Moving and optimistic… will delight readers right up to the very last page’ Stylist
‘Bittersweet, tender, thoughtful and uplifting . . . I loved it’ Nina Stibbe
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 206 members
Missy is a lonely old lady who gets a new lease of life when she looks after her friend's friends dog. We learn about her earlier life along the way. A real feel good read which had me hooked from the beginning; I couldn't put the book down.
What a heart warming read - the must have book for next year i'm sure of it. I couldn't put this touching read down - read in 48 hours. Missy is stubborn and set in her ways , with a touch of magic from a new found pet and some new friends she gains a new lease at life. It just shows you to reach out to that lonely neighbour or smile at that person who passes you in the street. You really can change someones lonely life into happiness. I am lucky enough to have read this before its release date and its touched my heart. @sam_sumx
A sweet and warm-hearted book, which deserves to be very popular, as it is such a feel-good story. The characters are appealing, and the writing genuinely witty. I had thought everything would be very formulaic, but I was wrong. The ending was unexpected, and all in all this book is a complete joy.
What a wonderful emotive read! Missy is an elderly lady,lonely, missing her husband, children and grandson whilst rattling around in an empty huge townhouse with no purpose in her life! All this changes fortunately with the arrival of new friends met whilst out in the park one day! The gift of friendship and company is truely life changing for missy, the greatest gift of all is being bestowed a dog bobby to look after, Bobby gives missy a reason to get up and get out each day and in doing so her social circle widens and great friendships are developed I particularly liked the relationship with little Otis demonstrating how multi generational relationships are so beneficial! Friendship and camaraderie are so very important especially to the elderly who have a wealth of memories and experience to share which we can all benefit from! A truely heartwarming read. Thank you net galley for this early read.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to read this book. It has its ups and downs,sadness and happiness which is what we all deserve. This 79 year old lady lives alone in a big old house.Her son and family are in Australia with her beloved grandson.Her daughter and her really don not hit it off,with reasons which become apparent. Missy ( Millicent) is very lonely and decides to go for a walk in the near by park, and meets up with several different characters who through the book become close friends . She is asked to care for a friends dog which after some persuasion she takes on the responsibility and she is pleased she did.This dog gives her a reason to carry on.Lots of walks,meeting up with friends alike and enjoying life again. There are lots of twists and turns which is the making of a wonderful read,If this is a first book from Beth Morrey I cannot wait for the next one. In fact this book is so good I have now read it twice !!
Aww I absolutely loved this book! The characters are very personal and the story is so lovely throughout. Well worth it!
What an enjoyable book to read. Missy is a lonely 79 year old. She is also stubborn and vulnerable. The author does a good job of not only bringing her to life in the present day but of sharing her past with the reader. There are other characters in the book but Missy steals the show. It is so easy to empathise and understand her actions. Her highs are our highs and we rejoice with her, her lows remind us of just how vulnerable she still is. Missy’s life, however, is about to change and we share that journey with her. A delight of a book, well written and heart warming. Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy, this is one that will stay with me.
This is such a good book! It’s full of wonderful, unforgettable characters. Missy is 79 and very lonely. She misses her husband Leo terribly but a chance meeting in the park one day leads her to look after a dog, rather reluctantly at first, and brings her into the dog-walking community. Through her new friends, she starts to enjoy life again. What sets this book apart is the quality of the writing. It’s beautifully and cleverly written, well-paced and full of surprises. I couldn’t put it down towards the end and read on for another hour when I should have been working because I felt so involved in the characters’ lives. Missy is a fabulous heroine, lovable with all her faults, and I highly recommend this novel.
I loved this book. It's about friendship and love and the importance of connection. Missy is such a strong character, stubborn and proud but also vulnerable. The author did a great job with that balance. All the supporting characters were also interesting with their own stories and issues. As Missy warned to them so did I. The little community was so lovely I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to walk my dog around that park and look out for all those people. I think this will be a big hit in 2020.
Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. Oh what a sad story about love and friendship and memories and more importantly loneliness.
Thank you so much for the chance to read a review copy of this book, it was just wonderful! It covers so many topics - friendship, growing older, loneliness, but is never preachy or trite. Not ashamed to say I cried at several points in the book (I won’t describe them because of spoilers) and that’s down to the deft touch of the author and the non-maudlin way she approaches the subjects. The final twist in particular was heart-wrenching. I found the descriptions of Missy’s early life at university fascinating and recognised many themes that affected women in academia at that time. Missy herself is a fantastic character, no meek little old lady she! The author gives her such an authentic voice and never tries to portray her as a saintly grandma or mother. I did have to slightly suspend disbelief that everyone in her dog walking group had exactly what she needed even when she didn’t want to realise or accept that, but I don’t know why, because I know full well how fabulous dog owners can be. The little asides about the characters of their dogs were spot on and hilarious and of course Bobby, lovely Bobby; the author must have known at least one dog like her in her life. I can’t wait to review this book on Amazon and my personal social media when it is published as I know several people who will love it just as much as me and I hope to introduce it to many, many more. Eagerly awaiting whatever Beth Morrey writes next as she has incredible skill as a writer and whatever her next subject I’m sure she will do it justice (hope she includes just a little bit of dogness though!).
Missy is Millicent Carmichael, a 79 year old woman rattling around on her own in the family home. Her son has moved to Australia, where his wife is from and her daughter lives in Cambridge. For something to do Missy goes to see the fish been electrically shocked in a local pond so they can be moved. While she is there she blacks out and starts the chain of some unlikely, but rewarding friendships. This must ring so true for many women who give up their careers to have a family and then when they are all gone find themselves so very alone. Lots of laughter and lots of tears, you definitely need some tissues to hand. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC in return for an honest review.
For anyone who enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, this is one for you. A 79 year old woman who feels alone and isolated and can't forgive or forget her past actions, suddenly finds a family amongst new friends and a dog. Truly heartwarming; I've laughed, cried, got cross but adored every second
Missy is an elderly lady who has become very lonely in her later years. This is a heartwarming story of how she builds new friendships with the most unlikely people and how she starts to enjoy living again. A really beautiful and we'll written story.
Very enjoyable, well-written tale of how bottling things up can lead to all sorts of problems and learning to let others into your life can have miraculous results. Millicent, or Missy, has always hid her feelings, felt second-best and unable to move on with life but at nearing 80 a chance encounter in the park leads to a life she never thought she would have. I liked Missy, she was a good friend but not that nice, she could see flaws in others but accept them anyway. I enjoyed the gradual realisation of what has gone on in Missy's life, her secrets and burdens, and it was a great feel-good ending. I also liked that the main character is 80 but not shutting down her life, quite the opposite.
This is a wonderful heartfelt story of growing old, looking back on regrets in life, loneliness, making friends and growing bonds in unlikely places. Missy is 79. With her husband gone she lives a lonely life. Her beloved son lives in Australia with her 7 year old grandson. She sees them far less than she would like. She has a daughter but as you read through the pages it appears they had a big fall out and Missy really doesn’t know what to do about that. Leo, her husband would know as they were close, but he’s not here any more. On one of her lonely walks in the park on a cold winters day Missy happens upon Sylvie and her younger friend Angela, single mum to Otis. Otis reminds Missy of her own grandson. As a result of their acquaintance in the park, Missy begins to form unlikely friendships with both of these women and this is how Missy’s life starts to take a turn for the better. Missy might be 79 but she’s no befuddled little old lady. Throughout the book we hear a lot about Missy’s younger days. Her university days, how she met her husband, life as a young mum and her relationship with both her husband and her children. The story is told in the first person by Missy and it’s via her memories as she mulls over past events from time to time, that the reader learns about what makes Missy who she is today. There’s plenty going on in the present too which makes this book a compelling read. I always looked forward to picking it up to see what happened next. It has a good supporting cast of characters, all likeable in their own unique way. It has just the right mix of all the ingredients of a good read – humour, sadness, touching moments and action moments too. I missed my visits to Missy’s house and all the other characters when I’d finished it. To be posted to my blog Mon 3 Feb 2020.
Missy is an elderly lady who is feeling so lonely since her son moved to Australia, she argued with her daughter and her husband as she knew him died. You don’t discover the reality of this until near the end of the book. She has always found it difficult to ‘fit in’ and continues to do so at this stage of her life. The way this story unfolded was just beautiful, I loved all the characters that were introduced and found Missy to be such an endearing lady. Brave, prickly, but ultimately so loving. The story has mystery, sadness, pathos, humour and is a tale full of redemption. This is possibly my best read of this year. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for this preview copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is a delightful heartwarming story with well drawn characters who you really care about. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think that this could be the talked about book of 202o. If you liked stories like Eleanor Olliphant, then you will probably like this one too. Highly recommended!!!
Well written with characters made to enjoy-the different characters were a joy. This book is well written and pulls on your heart strings, making you laugh and cry!
What a delightful read. Devoured quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed. I wish I was a Sylvie but I’m definitely more of an Angela! Missy, the lead, is a wonderfully thought out character, with many stories to be told and listened to. This book will pull at your heartstrings and make you wish for a community of dog walkers just like this one. Highly recommend.
What a lovely feelgood story. Missy a lonely octogenarian finds friendship with the unlikeliest people but as she begins to embrace everyday life they draw her out of her shell. A novel about friendship and connections.
This book draws you in slowly but once it has you, it doesn’t let go. Missy is the central character and you can’t help but invest in her journey and story. Surrounded by a cast of colourful friends, history and the present are carefully interwoven. I really enjoyed this heartwarming tale and will look forward to reading more by this talented author. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. Such a heartwarming journey with Millicent..or Missy...whom I came to love. A very well written novel interlinking the past with the present. Missy starts out as a lonely figure, but slowly people and Bobby enter her life and enrich it. A really well observed tale. Highly recommend.
I was looking for something to read that was a bit different and I found it here. I can’t say that it grabbed me straight away but slowly drew me in so that eventually I couldn’t put it down. I’m in my mid sixties and found that I could relate very well to Missy and her issues. A thoughtful but uplifting book.
What a truly wonderful book, I just loved this gentle tale. Poignant and emotional but heartwarming with a touch of humour. I just wanted this book to go on and on, it was just so comforting. With so little effort it tackled the issue of how we could all do a little to help so much loneliness in our society, even if we can't quite manage to help in such a way depicted in the book. The characters are a lovable mix of quirky people, all centering round a fantastic main character, elderly Missy. This writer is truly gifted as she manages to flow seamlessly from the past to the present without the reader wondering where they are in the story. Some fabulous real life observations and having experienced a 5 year old's party a couple of weeks ago, absolutely brilliant.! There were a few twists and turns as the story rolled along culminating in the unexpected on many levels. I look forward to reading from this talented writer and can't recommend this feelgood book more highly.
This is a lovely, lovely read. Missy Carmichael is 79 and lonely. She lives on her own in a large house in Stoke Newington. Relations are strained with her daughter and her son and grandson have gone to Australia. Her life changes after she meets the somewhat chaotic Angela and her little son Otis as well as Sylvie, an interior designer. Through them she is almost badgered into fostering a dog, Bobby meaning that very soon she has a purpose to her life as well as a host of new friends both canine and human, Her story is interspersed with her reminiscing about her life, her marriage to Leo and her children. Greek myths are used as metaphor throughout and this gives an added dimension to the book. The story is funny, poignant and the characterisation is superb, As with all good books you don't want it to come to an end as you want to stay with these characters. I loved it. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC.
This is the debut novel by Beth Morrey - and what a debut it is! When people describe books as "heartwarming" it can sometimes mean "schmaltzy" - but this book manages to be heartwarming without the schmaltz. Friendships are made; bridges built; memories - good and bad - revisited; past mistakes reviewed, acknowledged and paths to forgiveness are forged; and Missy's future is completely reshaped as a result.. This book entertained me, made me think, smile, and cry. What more can you ask of a novel? I look forward to Beth Morrey's next book. My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.
Oh my goodness, I simply ADORED this story (insert heart eyes emoji here) This is the story of Millicent Carmichael aka Missy. Missy is 79 years old and lives alone in her large house in London, she lost her husband a few years back, and her 2 children have flown the nest, one of them to Australia, taking her grandson with them. Missy is lonely. She emails her son in Australia all of the time, telling him what a "lovely day" she has had, but she beefs-up the stories to make them sound more interesting. One day Missy sees a young boy, about the same age as her grandson is now, and watching him playing makes her heart ache, she sits in the park and watches him play, and then gets talking to another woman walking her dogs, Sylvie. Turns out that Sylvie also knows the young boys mother, the red headed and foul mouthed creature Angela. One day Angela turns up at her door and asks a favour, well kind of bamboozles her really, and by the time Angela has gone, Missy has acquired a dog called Bob. Thus creating a wonderful friendship that only one can have with a dog. With the commitment of owning a dog, Missy begins to venture out of the house, and starts to interact with other people in the community, and as much as she doesn't like to admit it,she kind of starts to enjoy herself. This was such a wonderful story, and by the end I had a big tear rolling down my face. This is the authors debut novel, and if this is what she is starting with, I'm sure she will have a fantastic writing career in front of her. If you liked stories like Eleanor Olliphant, then you will LOVE this one. Coming in February 2020, keep your eyes peeled for this one, I think it is going to BLOW UP!!