Book of the Month: The Tea Ladies promises a quirky read

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    Joanna Nell's new novel The Tea Ladies promises to be a fun read.
    Joanna Nell's new novel The Tea Ladies promises to be a fun read. Image: Joanna Nell

    What happens when a 17-year-old girl and two women in their seventies join forces to save a beloved hospital café from closure?

    You find out in Joanna Nell’s fourth novel The Tea Ladies, which could well be another bestseller.

    Hilary has managed Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria for a decade. When she realises her simple fare is being outdone by the new wholefood franchise opposite, she and her two volunteer staff members work together to save it.

    Each woman has hidden personal struggles and we see the world of the book through the perspectives of two different generations. As one reviewer puts it,

    Joanna Nell, bestselling author who celebrates ageing. Image: Joanna Nell

    “…daily life here is presented from three different perspectives. As always, her characters have depth and appeal and the reader quickly invests in their fates, even the prickly ones.

    She gives them insightful observations and wise words: “With the passing years, the list of things Joy could do was shrinking. Listening was the one thing that people became better at as they aged, she realised.””

    “Once again, Nell has her finger on the pulse when it comes to seniors, touching on many issues that affect the elderly: loneliness, poverty, malnutrition, denial in grief, the need for a sense of purpose, and the fear of being irrelevant or invisible. She addresses these topics with sensitivity and humour, giving the reader laughter and lumps-in-the-throat in equal measure. The clever chapter headings are a bonus. A delightful read!”

    Joanna, a GP specialising in women’s health and elderly care, explores ageing in each of her novels. Her beloved characters ditch stereotypes about ageing and, while they have their issues, they embrace life. As she told The Daily Beacon in March,

    Yes, it’s entertainment and escapism, but it also gives the reader the opportunity to see through the eyes of someone else, to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

    If you liked The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village, or The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home, keep an eye out for The Tea Ladies. It’s on shelves in September.

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