I would like to begin with a huge Thankyou to the very fabulous Hayley Walsh for allowing me to read a copy of her Novella 'Not Dead Yet' which is published next week on March 8th 2022. I am very happy to say that as well as a brilliant author, Hayley is also one of my friends, we met through book twitter and she was one of the very first people to contact me and request I review their work. So she is very special to me! You can read my review of her novel Making March here.
Recently widowed Mary feels something needs to change, but she is not sure what ? She decides to sell her home in Sydney, and move to a retirement village in sunny Queensland. Mary has always enjoyed her own company and struggles with the many personalities she encounters in the village. There are two things Mary won’t tolerate. Idiots, and nasty women. Unfortunately for her, the village is full of them. Has Mary made a mistake, or will she find something wonderful?
Oh I just loved this book! It was such a heart warming tale of family, relationships, heart break and ageing.
We meet Mary at her husbands funeral, this is a massive change in her life and we find her struggling to negotiate life without him and not become a burden to her family. This is an honest portrayal of becoming older and navigating all of the tricky situations that comes along with that process. Mary is beginning to feel invisible which sadly is all too common as ladies age.
Throughout the tale we learn all about her early days in the form of flashbacks, it is lovely to build up a picture of Mary and Bob in their younger years and all the roads left untaken. She wonders whether things may have been different had she chosen a different path, I mean don't we all?!
I loved the relationship she had with her best friend and confidante Barb and their 'Awesome Foursome' that they created with Bob and Neil. Barbs story was a devastating yet uplifting tale and I loved the way in which Mary learnt new things about her even though they had known each other practically all of their lives!
I loved the Australian setting, whenever I read books set in Australia it takes me back to my year travelling around the country. I felt like I had been transported back to Melbourne and my friend Belle when I read about Bobs love of a Tim Tam Slam!! I have to agree with you there Bob they are a fantastic way to enjoy the biscuit!
My only criticism was that it all ended too quickly (obviously it was a Novella so always going to wrap things up quickly) but I would have just liked to find out a little more about the characters and what happened to them before the epilogue. I wanted to find out more about Mary, I had become very invested in her by the end of the story!
Thanks Hayley for keeping me entertained and bringing the lives of these gorgeous characters into my living room!
If you like the sound of this gorgeous book you can pre-order a copy at Amazon UK Go on, add it to your TBR, you won't be sorry!