It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan.
About the Author
The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme. She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey. Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning www.writing.ie
She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival. Her first poem Airborne, published on Pendemic.ie website March 2020
Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel.
She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks. Follow @paulinemorgan56 on Twitter, on Facebook,
About the book
After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben.
A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.
After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.
Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.
Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.
I can totally see a surge of Stitch & *itch groups being established around the country – what a great name for an over 50s group. It seems like the perfect place for Edel, who is a little bit like a piece of driftwood just floating aimlessly through life. She feels neither here nor there after the death of her husband.
It’s always great to read a story with a main character who fits in the middle-aged bracket. Much like society women in this age range suffer from what I like to call an ‘automatic invisibility cloak’ as soon as they hit a certain age. Sounds depressing, but honestly it depends on how much weight you give to the opinion of others when it comes to your own self-worth.
Morgan combines grief with coming to terms with the next stage in life. It’s about survival, self-belief and taking a risk. Letting people in again when you’re in a dark spot and believe that no one wants you or will be willing to love you again, isn’t easy at all.
It’s an uplifting escapist read with plenty of home truths and a premise that veers close to reality. It’s also a relatable read, because regardless of who you are, being welcomed into a circle of friends and being uplifted enough by them to enjoy your life to the fullest – that’s always a good thing.