Monday, August 10, 2015

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

I’m fast coming to the realization that, at least this year, I may not write even short book notes about all the books I’ve read. It’s still possible, but not probable. You may have noticed that I have been posting a little more often. Last month Margaret began working part-time. It is wonderful for her and for Hazel Nina. She works only three days a week. One of those days is Saturday which is a lovely daddy - daughter day. And the other two days, we take care of Hazel. This is quite a change from four days a week. That left us three days to clean the house and do other various chores and visit with Campbell Walker. Now there are five days, and though it is still busy I am beginning to find my way back to blogging - both writing mine and visiting yours. Being just up the road, we still see Hazel very often, which is so wonderful. And we have been seeing Campbell and his new brother, Indy Thomas as much as possible. 

I so appreciate the support and loyalty of my dear readers. You’ve stopped by and left me notes, even though I have so rarely had the time to visit you over the past year or so. Thank you very much.

Without further ado, I’m going to write a bit about a book I just finished today. 

Thursdays in the Park   
by Hilary Boyd
fiction 2011
finished 8/10/15

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember who first told me about this book. I do know that I ordered it as a used copy from England, and have had it a few years. 

I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read any modern English fiction for quite a while. This one featured someone around my age, which was a treat. It is a romance of sorts, but also quite a realistic view of family life and a long marriage. Jeanie's husband George is quite controlling, and it isn’t in her nature to really protest. She kind of slips through life according to his plans. He isn’t really horrible, though I wouldn’t have stayed with him a minute! On Thursdays she brings her little granddaughter to the park, and happens to meet a grandfather with his grandson. They all get along famously, and Jeanie begins to have feelings towards Ray that she hasn’t felt for her husband in a long time, if ever. And they are reciprocated. But falling in love in one’s sixties is not quite as clearcut as earlier in life when there is no family involved. Jeanie has a daughter with whom she is very close, and a son-in-law who mostly drives her crazy, and her beloved granddaughter, Ellie. Hilary Boyd’s descriptions of the way Jeanie feels toward this little girl were my favorite parts of the book because they express exactly how I feel about my three darlings. When she first meets Ray, he says:
‘Odd thing, grandchildren,’ the man said, gazing after the boy. ‘I didn’t think it would be such a big deal. But I find he means everything to me.’
‘I know… I know what you mean,’ she found herself replying, because she too had been overwhelmed by her feelings for her granddaughter since the first moment she’d held Ellie in her arms. It had literally been love at first sight. … ‘It’s a bit like a drug,’ she went on. ‘If I don’t see her for a couple of days I get withdrawal symptoms.’ She laughed, shy suddenly, in a very British way, about the strength of her feelings. Because she hadn’t been one of those mothers who pester their offspring to make them a grandmother.
The writing is good and the book flows making the reader not want to put it down. It isn’t always bright and breezy but it is so true, so honest about family relationships and individual situations. I really found it quite wonderful and heartily recommend it.

20 comments:

  1. Yes! That description is exactly right, isn't it? <3

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful book. It's good to know that there are authors out there who write about such things - not about "love, sex and drama" in the lives of the young, glamourous and beautiful, or about murder in all its gruesome detail, but about life as it happens all around us and could indeed happen to ourselves (generally speaking - I am not in my 60s yet, nor do I have a husband, children or grandchildren).

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    1. One of the things I love about British tv shows is that older people are part of the mix. It seems like in the US, most everyone is under 50, often way under. I like to see older, younger, kids, teens - all ages. That's why I'd never want to live in a certain-age community.

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  3. Oh, I must look for this as it really strikes a chord. No feeling in the world like that that you have for your grandchildren. Even though you adore your own kids, being a grandparent is quite, quite different.

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    1. You'll like it, Cath. I wish I could remember who recommended it.

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  4. Sounds like the perfect book for you, Nan. So glad you got to read it. And I'm so glad that you guys are getting to spend time with all your sweet ones. Life is good, right? :-)

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  5. It is great getting to be with your Grands so much. This sounds like an interesting read. Love your header photo.

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    1. Yes, it is. And I think you'd like the book.

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  6. Sounds like a nice read, Nan.
    The business of grandparenting is, well, it is GRAND!

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  7. Sounds a lovely read! It's always a treat to find a good book about someone a grandmotherly age! Though I am even older than that , ;)))...your daughters new work hours sound like a win win situation for everybody!

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    1. I think you'd like it, Sallie! My girl is much more relaxed, and happy to have the time to do things with her daughter.

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  8. I have so often wondered at how much you seem to accomplish..most days of the week i take care of a 2 and 1/2 year old grandson( so beloved, so cute) for about three hours a day and even that much seemed to make me so much less productive in other areas!

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    1. I accomplish very little! Oh, and aren't you a happy grammy! It does take a lot of energy doesn't it! It reminds me of when the kids were little.

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  9. I read this one! I quite enjoyed it and recommend it.

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    1. I'm going to see if she has written more. She's a good storyteller, I think.

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  10. It sounds like your new schedule is working well. Glad Margaret is able to be at home a bit more.

    This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I decided not to wait and went ahead and downloaded it to my Nook. Might be the perfect book to read while flying to Germany next month. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

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    1. It is so good for Margaret and Hazel. They do so much together- always on the go! There is a lot more offered than when my kids were little - baby gym, music programs, yoga. I think you'll enjoy the book.

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