Judy Leigh’s books are just plain fun. Enough said, but I found the audio of this one on Chirp for a reasonable price (I hope the author gets something??) and snagged it.
Lil is living a nice life in her apartment at a nice assisted living facility. She has breakfast everyday at a local cafe, has a good friend Maggie who lives next door with her boring husband Brian, and has her daughter Cassie nearby. So when a local 5-a-side soccer (football) team and a pub owner plan a bus trip (pre-Brexit) through parts France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, Lil signs herself Maggie and Cassie up.
In addition to Lil’s party and the soccer team, there are also snobby Ken and his two fellow tennis club members Sue and Denise and Emily whose Royal Marine boy friend is in the Middle East and Albert the quiet, overcoat-wearing father of the publican. They tour the D-Day battle fields, see Bruges, stay on a Belgian farm, and tour Amsterdam among other places. A nice combination of group events and personal time awaits the travelers. But none realizes all the things in store for them, the fun, the personal growth, a minor epiphany or two….And a love… [No Spoilers].
My very first thought was “N#*kie” must be a less offensive term in the UK [England]. It really put me off–even if it was used in connection with a Jilly Cooper-like novel ******* In spite of this, which nearly made me throw the book back, I trusted my gut and what I knew of Judy’s books and kept on. I’m so glad I did. I loved Lil and Maggie, Cassy, Pat, even “SyUUU-e” (I loved this from the audio book performer) and Denise and Ken! While Ken was deliberately over-the-top, they were a believable bunch with believable lives and travel experiences. I especially liked Lil (to whom I could completely relate) when faced with some lifelong dream choices. I liked too, that the group was respectful of each other. They gathered together and had fun realizing that they might not all be besties at home, but they could get to know each other and enjoy a few minutes together on the road in a sincere way.
I love Judy Leigh’s books because no one is too old to try again, to find love, to have a great life. As I face unwanted unemployment on the eve of my 60th birthday, I needed this story to remind me that life isn’t over.
*****Americans: Jilly Cooper writes sexy romances set in the equestrian sports world of England. One of her characters is rumored to be based upon Andrew Parker-Bowles, ex-husband of Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla.
Lil’s Bus Trip by Judy Leigh is $3.99 for Kindle right now.