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Thursdays In The Park By Hilary Boyd

'Thursdays In The Park‘Thursdays In The Park’ was originally released in 2011 as an ebook and due to its phenomenal success, it’s been reissued as a book to mark its fifth anniversary.

Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can’t be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship. They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.They offer each other a second chance at life and love. But will they have the courage to take it?

The story is seen solely through the eyes of Jeanie, a woman who is on the cusp of turning 60 and she’s far from wanting to slow down in life. Her marriage was fine until one day ten years ago her husband George suddenly left their bedroom without any explanation. For years, Jeanie wondered what happened between the two of them but George refuses to talk about it and is convinced that their marriage is still the same as it was. Upset and tired of being taken for granted, Jeanie stumbles upon a kind stranger in the park one Thursday when they are both out with their grandchildren. Ray helps Jeanie see the bright side of life, he helps her believe that life doesn’t end when she reaches 60 even though George thinks otherwise. The pair of them embark on a tentative friendship as they both deal with knew unexpected feeling.

Although I enjoyed this book and for the majority I found it made for pleasant reading, I did find elements of it frustrating particularly scenes with George. I found him to be a petulant and stubborn character, who treated Jeanie unfairly. He refused to tell her what changed between them that night even though he regularly proclaims declarations of love, also with calling Jeanie “old girl” all the time, I found him annoying. He thinks he knows what’s best for Jeanie and decides to uproot them to the countryside even though Jeanie is opposed to the idea.

Fortunately Jeanie finds solace in the company of little Ellie, her sweet granddaughter and her outspoken best friend Rita. Meanwhile Ray injects an element of tenderness to this tale, as he cares for Jeanie and has a genuine connection with her, he’s her escape from the unhappiness of her marriage.

Cleverly written from the beginning, this book provides a frank and honest account of when marriages become stale. ‘Thursdays In The Park’ is a poignant and lighthearted story about starting over and how life doesn’t have to end when you hit 60.

You can buy Thursdays in the Park from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

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