“One morning, Connie McColl wakes up and decides to swap her ordinary life, for an extraordinary adventure…
Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember.
So they make a pact for this summer to be their best yet – and drive off into the sunset together…
As they meander their way along the beautiful beaches of France and onto the glorious delights of Italy in their luxury campervan, the new friends have plenty of fun and frolics in the sunshine. But the vacation isn’t quite what they expected…
Gill will do anything to have one last holiday romance, Connie has a surprise inheritance awaiting her in Italy, and Maggie has a secret that is going to catch up with them all…
In the end, all three women discover that the journey they thought would be their last really is just the beginning…”
I reviewed Dee MacDonald’s first book The Runaway Wife earlier in the year and absolutely loved it (you can read my review of that book here) so I jumped at the chance to read the follow up and catch up with what the fabulous Connie McColl is doing now.
What she’s doing is taking a fabulous road trip in a motorhome called Bella with two equally eccentric septuagenarians down through France and in to Italy in search of Connie’s long-lost Italian family, and the trip is quite as marvellous and action-packed as the one she took in the first book.
This novel is joyous, as the first one was. The idea of three women who society may have written off as past it grasping life by the proverbial and setting off with no real plan on a mad road trip through Europe, is just wonderful and the whole book is fun, moving and totally life-affirming. I loved every second of it and came away with a happy, warm feeling of contentment – which is all I ever ask from a book of this kind.
I fell in love with Connie in The Runaway Wife and she is just as likeable in this book. Now separated from dull husband Roger, she has discovered she had an Italian grandmother and is determined to go to Italy and find her missing branch of the family. She manages to find herself travelling with two equally dissatisfied women of a similar age, the downtrodden Maggie, who it turns out is not as mousy as first appears and is hiding a HUGE secret, and brassy Gill, who is really as soft as butter and just wants to be loved. These characters are just wonderful; larger than life but totally likeable and believable too, you can’t help but want them all to get a happy ending.
I was totally captivated by the journey, which Dee really brings to life through her descriptions of the scenery, sights, sounds and smells of France and Italy as they travel through. Just like the first book, the ladies end up in plenty of outlandish situations and mad scrapes along the way, but it is all very light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek and a delight to read.
There isn’t much else I can say. This book is a delight from start to finish. Uplifting, fun, satisfying, with enough going on to keep you turning the pages from start to finish. the author’s writing flows beautifully and is easy to read. I just loved everything about it and I am praying this is not the last we see of Connie MacColl.
And I have just realised how much I overuse the word ‘just’ (I deleted four examples and there are still lots left!) so I’ll try and watch that in future!
The Getaway Girls is out now and you can buy a copy here.
To follow the rest of the tour, check out the poster below:
My thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially and to Kim Nash at Bookouture for my place on the tour.
About the Author
The Runaway Wife was Dee’s first (published) novel but in fact she wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.
Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep., and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.
She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.
Connect with Dee:
Facebook: Dee MacDonald