Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime . . .

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.



Stick a penguin in a book or on the cover, and I want to read it! And this was a little charmer of a book, complete with prickly main character who you grow to love and understand and share her obsession with penguins and their welfare!

Veronica is very set in her ways! She’s in her eighties and finds human company a bother, barely tolerating her cleaner, Eileen, when she visits – she’s someone who finds plenty to complain about in the world and keeps people at arms length! But her heart shows its’ softer side when she starts watching a documentary about Penguins and starts looking back over old diaries… something spurs her on to live a little differently!

And there is nothing more different than heading out to the research facility in the Antarctic to watch the penguins close at hand! The research team are very against the plan to begin with, but when money is added to the mix, who are they to say no!

Before she leaves, she gets Eileen – she does have her uses! – to help her on the internet and start searching for family she’d long forgotten about. And the first meeting with Patrick does not go well! He’s down on his luck, so closed off to the positives in the world and wonders just what this old lady wants with him – and why now!

What I enjoyed about this story was how just a change of outlook can start things moving in a different direction. She’d been stuck for so many years in the same mindset that many opportunities had flown by. But she seems determined to do right by penguins and watching them close up really gives her new perspective.

We see the story through the eyes of Patrick, as well as the research team she joins, and they all really add something a little extra to the story. AS Patrick reads her old diaries, we get to understand why she is the way she is and sees that it’s best to know the whole story about someone before judging them.

A real easy read, that is full of emotion and warmth… 



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