Sharing Cider and Stories.

Book Review for “The Golden Oldies’ Book Club” by Judy Leigh.

Summary: Ruth the librarian fears she’s too old to find love, but a discussion about Lady Chatterley’s Lover makes her think again. Aurora doesn’t feel seventy-two and longs to relive the excitement of her youth, while Verity is getting increasingly tired of her husband Mark’s grumpiness and wonders if their son’s imminent flight from the nest might be just the moment for her to fly too. And Danielle is fed up with her cheating husband. Surely life has more in store for her than to settle for second best? The glue that holds Combe Pomeroy together is Jeannie. Doyenne of the local cider farm and heartbeat of her family and community, no one has noticed that Jeannie needs some looking after too. Has the moment for her to retire finally arrived, and if so, what does her future hold? From a book club French exchange trip, to many celebrations at the farm, this is the year that everything changes, that lifelong friendships are tested, and for some of the women, they finally get the love they deserve.”

Age: Adult; Genres: Literary, Women, Fiction; Settings: Contemporary; England – Somerset, Combe Pomery (fictional); France – rural Brittany; Other Categories: Novel, Romance, Humor.

Golden Oldies Book Club BSYes, Judy Leigh has another sweet novel, and this one has a bit of a kick to it – from the cider! Apple cider to be precise. This is because the women “of a certain age” in this novel all live either on or near what is considered to be the best local cider farm in the region – if not the world, according to one of the people who works there. Sure, they make non-alcoholic juice, but the real fun is with the ones that are for the adults. Although the adults are enjoying their tipple, most of the women in this story seem to be a touch hung over in their personal lives. Especially the ones who are members of the local book club.

Now, I have to admit that the book club was the draw for me here, but I’m not sure it came through the way I was hoping it would. Although they do discuss several novels over the year that this book takes place, I did feel that with everything else, the book club was more of an excuse to bring everyone together and not as much of a platform for the story that I had hoped it would be. Despite this, while it was a touch disappointing, it didn’t ruin the book for me at all.

In fact, what Leigh did with these main characters was really fun. Talk about a rollicking good time being had by all, even when things weren’t going well for everyone. Probably my favorite was Violet, with her absolutely horrible puns and jokes, that truly made me laugh out loud. I mean, seriously, I hope that if I make it to the age of 95, I’ll still remember some bad jokes to tell, or even be able to make them up as Violet does! No, she isn’t the main character here, but she was absolutely adorable, and a real hoot to read. I even felt a touch cheated when she wasn’t in a scene.

That said, I did enjoy almost all of the other women in this book as well. Yes, I said almost all. You see, Aurora really disappointed me in this novel, and I’m just a touch unsure if I liked her in the end. But she was the only one who bothered me. I guess not everyone in a story is going to act the way you want them to, since they certainly don’t do so in real life, so it is realistic, if a bit frustrating. Thankfully, everyone else seemed to find their ways through the troubles they were having, with varying levels of success. Again, Leigh doesn’t give everyone a totally perfect happily ever after, which keeps her books from being saccharine, and I’m thankful for that. In fact, if I’m honest, I might not want to read Leigh’s books if everyone rode off into the sunset with their dream lovers, so it is a good thing that we had some disenchantment in this story.

I think I’ve determined that Leigh can be trusted to make me smile, and her writing in this book, especially the openings to the main parts, was just lovely and heartwarming. This is particularly true when Leigh describes the changing of the seasons and in this part of England. I swear I could not only see the way the farm and region evolve, I could almost smell everything from the sweet blossoms to the hefty, strong brandy! Obviously, I am once again warmly recommending this book, and I’m giving it a healthy four and a half stars out of five!


fc16c-netgalleytinyBoldwood Books released “The Golden Oldies’ Book Club” by Judy Leigh on December 6, 2022. This book is available (via the following affiliate links) from Amazon, Blackwell’s, Foyles, The Book Depository UK and Book Depository US (both with free worldwide delivery), Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery UK and Wordery US, Kobo US (eBooks and audiobooks), the website,, iTunes (iBooks and audiobooks), new or used from Alibris, used from Better World Books (promoting libraries and world literary), as well as from as well as from and UK.Bookshop (to support independent bookshops, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic) or an IndieBound store near you. I would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via NetGalley.

This novel qualifies for the following reading challenges: New Release Challenge (#57).


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10 thoughts on “Sharing Cider and Stories.

  1. This one sounds like fun. I recently read Killers of a Certain Age and it, like the Thursday Murder Club books, made me smile and laugh while reading a mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

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