Away With The Penguins

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.

This book was such a treat to read. I got to read this book as part of a buddy read-we read the book over one week in 50/60 page chunks and shared our thoughts along the way. I felt that this was a perfect way to read this book as there were so many hidden nuggets that were easy to miss.

I remember being recommended this book but I cannot remember who was responsible for bringing this book to my attention. Whoever that mystery recommender was, I owe them a huge ‘thank you’ as I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars. This story also included one of my favourite formats of having a dual narrative- Veronica and Patrick.

I really enjoy books with older protagonists and there’s something about Veronica that just endeared her to me. She was cranky, snappy, very set in her ways…but I really likes her. I absolutely adored the whole concept of her just deciding to trot off to The Antarctic and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. In real life, I’m sure I’d strongly dislike Veronica but as a protagonist I found her to be really interesting. I really enjoyed her character development and the flashbacks really helped to understand why she was the way she was.

We were introduced to Patrick when he was at his absolute lowest and he wasn’t likeable at first but by the end of the book I was rooting for him and cheering on his achievements.

TheMy favourite characters were Terry, the penguin scientist, and Patrick/Pip the penguin. Every character in this book seemed to have a full character development, they felt very well rounded and it was great to get to know everyone.

The flashbacks in this book were a brilliant way of discovering Veronica’s secret. It was utterly heartbreaking and I shed a fair few tears. This was one of those books where I knew what was coming as this book included a topic that I knew a bit about so could see it coming (totally cryptic but I don’t want to give a huge spoiler) but I was still hoping that the book wasn’t going to take that route since I always want happy endings.

I found this book to be utterly heartwarming. It also made me want to visit The Antarctic…for approximately 3 minutes before I remembered that I find Aberdeen too cold sometimes. I would not have a good time in The Antarctic! This book described The Antarctic so well that I forgot about how much I hate being cold!

I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve bought the next book as I want more Veronica, Patrick and Terry. If you are looking for a heartwarming read about love and loss and finding yourself, I recommend this book

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