The Unretirement

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Pub Date 23 May 2024 | Archive Date Not set


The Unretirement is an uplifting story about the joy of pursuing dreams at any age, full of warmth, heart and community spirit.

Meet foodie Maggie Lawford. 

After spending her retirement travelling the world, she’s home again – and ready for a new adventure. 

When Maggie’s daughter, Hannah, takes her to visit their favourite local restaurant, Maggie is heartbroken to find the place empty. But the last straw comes when Maggie realises the chef is at his wit’s end – she can’t resist charging into the kitchen and taking matters into her own hands. 

Never one to give up without a fight, Maggie resolves to save their beloved restaurant from failure, and it’s not long before she has a military-grade plan to turn the place around again. Finding herself back at work, all she’ll need is support from Hannah and her cheeky granddaughter, Millie, as well as a little help from her neighbours.

After all, Maggie’s golden days aren’t behind her just yet…

The Unretirement is an uplifting story about the joy of pursuing dreams at any age, full of warmth, heart and community spirit.

Meet foodie Maggie Lawford. 


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ISBN 9780008694173
PRICE £0.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 63 members

Featured Reviews

Great comfort read. Maggie has retired and loves spending time with her husband on new adventures. Then her husband suddenly dies and she’s thrown into a deep dark place.
The highlight of her life is minding her granddaughter while her newly divorced daughter struggles with life as a solicitor. Maggie discovers one night her favourite restaurant is in trouble and makes it her mission to save it from closure. With help from new friends she sets out to save the local Indian restaurant from the fate of an overbearing celebrity chef.
Funny and very poignant in places loved sharing Maggie’s journey.
Brilliantly written and looking forward to more from this author.

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Just lovely! What a fabulous, feel good, heart warming read! I loved Maggie and the movement through loss into finding life. All of the characters were relatable - I particularly liked the two young people (so often get a bad press!) who were brilliantly written. A must read for me and one I'll be recommending.

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Penny Mirren tells the heartwarming tale of a retired woman who rediscovers herself.
Following the death of her husband, Maggie realises that retirement isn’t quite the same without him. Having studied cookery at college in her youth, she looks for a job in a local kitchen. Scorned for her age she feels a little hopeless, that is until she and her daughter go out for dinner at the Golden Crocus and she discovers old age isn’t a barrier.
This is a story about love, friendship, community and family. It is a beautiful tale and you find yourself really connecting with the characters and how they’ve all become stuck in a rut. Mirren helps draw the characters out of their shell and realise what life is truly about.

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This is a fabulous book. The characters come alive on the page, and make you want to cheer them on through their challenges.

Maggie is a retired widow who is looking for ways to fill her life. Hannah is a single mom trying to manage a career while staying connected with her daughter and her mom, Maggie, who returns to her childhood home of Saffron Walden. The Golden Crocus restaurant is the catalyst for change for both of them, and for the friends, new and old, that join them on their journey.

I would love to see more stories featuring Maggie, Hannah and Saffron Walden.

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The Unretirement is an uplifting story about the joy of pursuing dreams at any age, full of warmth, heart and community spirit.The ending was AMAZING I cannot wait to read more from this writer, definitely a book I will revisit many times and get a paper copy

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A cute little read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It only took me a few hours.
Maggie is quite the character. She gumption, spirit, charismatic all rolled into one.
There were places that I laughed, cried, and rooted for her all the way through.

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Thanks NetGalley for the unretirement. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Love the characters - especially Maggie - and found the read a delight. Highly recommend it

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I loved this book. Bit sad in parts. You never know how kind people are behind close doors. Los of yummy cooking descriptions .It is a story of Maggie who is nearly retired and how she finds a new lease of life cooking in an Indian restaurant . That is a very simple description of the books.There are lots of twists, a lovely grandchild , the horrors of commuting and as a single mum getting the work life balance and failing in love again. Love it . My review does not do it justice .

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Entertaining, heartwarming and inspirational.

Following some amazing travelling in her early retirement, the now recently widowed Maggie is feeling a little lost and unclear what she should do with her time.

Enjoying an evening out with her daughter Hannah, at an old favourite place, all doesn't seem to be as she remembered it. It turns our the owners have returned to India and their son has taken over. However he is a tech geek and not a trained chef... Maggie realises that the kitchen is struggling and jumps in to rescue the evening.

Afterwards she's full of positive energy and she's taking charge trying to help the restaurant to survive - and to get back her own purpose in life.

Full of inspiration, hope, community spirit and an annoying baddie...

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The unretirement is a total joy of a book!
Championing the older woman , showing that ageing, retirement and widowhood is not the end of the road but could successfully be navigated in such a way as to provide a second chance at life!
The sense of community, friendship and general wholesomeness makes this book such an endearing read that will give you hope and inspiration as you face getting older!
Absolutely loved the storyline, setting and the vastly diverse range of characters who despite their age, background,gender, sexuality or experience all came together for one worthwhile cause , all under the instructions of the magnificent Maggie!
A great read that I would highly recommend
Thank you NetGalley for this early read

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The Unretirement is Penny Mirren's debut novel. I really enjoyed this novel. It was light and clean and featured mature women characters. There were many references to food that sounded delicious and i was happy to find recipes at the end of The Unretirement. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there actually is a town named Saffron Walden.

If you like books about how a community comes together, you would like The Unretirement. (I was reading a book with very serious content and very happy to mix in The Unretirement.)

I'd be quite pleased to read another book by Penny Mirren and i hope she keeps writing!

Many thanks to NetGalley for introducing me to another new to me author! Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Papaperback for the opportunity to read the advance review copy of The Unretirement in exchange for an honest review. Approx 384 (paperback) pages. Publication date is Nov 12, 2024.

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Oh I do love a good book about retirement, ageing and living life no matter what age you are. And that is just what this book is and does. I was entertained by this story and I loved the passion that Maggie has to save her favourite local restaurant. With great characters, a great story and just the right length, this is a book I read in no time and enjoyed every minute of it.

Entertaining, enjoyable, funny, serious and passionate. What more do you want? Loved it!

Thank you NetGalley and Avon Books UK for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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What a sweet concept for a book! This reminds me so much if my own grandmother! I love how god willing and being blessed with good health a woman decides it’s nerver too late for a second act or third! I cannot wait to see how this one unfolds and share with readers. I think oftentimes we get the message it’s always too late for this or that and this novel teaches us that’s certainly not the case,

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