‘Hi, I’m Angela. My husband ran off with the caterer we hired for our daughter’s graduation party – pleased to meet you.’
Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer – from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980s tribute act and YouTube sensation.
But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote... what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things never go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she’s been looking for.
Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex. Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as they start to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it’s never too late for a second
Helen Bridgett instantly drew me into the story with her delightfully witty writing. I loved the part about the candle, I would definitely feel the same way as Angie! I got an instant feel for Angie's character and it was a great introduction to this charming character. She is such a down to earth and lovely person who at the start is seemingly lost.
All of the characters were developed well and had their quirky ways which definitely made them more memorable. A special mention has to go to Patty there are no other words to describe her other than that she is just brilliant! Her one liners always lightened the mood and I really enjoyed Angie and Patty's friendship. I have to admit that at times Zoe slightly annoyed me with how she acted with her mum. I guess it is difficult being stuck in the middle of divorced parents but she could be a little blunt. I guess this made me like Angie's character even more. It isn't just Angie who transforms over the course of the year her friends and family also change too. I guess that was what was so interesting about following this group of people.
I love to travel although since having children I don't really get much of an opportunity anymore. I guess I look at motherhood as a whole different kind of adventure! So the travel aspect to the story really appealed to me especially as at school I had visions of working as a travel agent just like Angie.
There are so many funny moments that had me smiling virtually all the way through the book. It was a joy to see Angie try new things in her quest to get her life back on track. The eighties vibe was a brilliant touch I'm sure most people agree that the eighties are a firm favourite for reminiscing! Music features in the storyline and the soundtrack is fab, well it is if you are a fan of 80s pop! The Granny-oakes plot is such a great part of this story and showcases Patty's personality brilliantly.
I'm sure this book will resonate with a lot of people especially if you have had a long term relationship break down. Angie's attitude was a breath of fresh air and even when faced with an uncertain future she picks herself up and carries on the best she can. This book is so easy to read and before I knew it I was half way through and I was having such a great time getting to know Angie and her friends. The short chapters are great and I think this helps to keep the story fresh and moving along at a good pace.
Packed full of friendship, family life & learning to move on - The Mercury Travel Club is the perfect pick me up from everyday life!
With thanks to Helen Bridgett & RedDoor Publishing for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.