Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior
Published by Black Swan, 2020
Mrs McCreedy (note: she is definitely not to be called Veronica) lives alone in a large and comfortable home in Scotland.
She enjoys her solitude and a well made pot of Darjeeling tea, drunk from the appropriate cup. She is not fond of mirrors (although they make very handy notepads) and prefers doors to be closed. She is also very very wealthy.
One day she watches a documentary about penguins and, aged 85, she decides to travel to the Antarctic. Well, it makes a change from litter picking on the local beach, however worthy a pastime.
Of course, there’s Patrick, her newly discovered grandson to consider. He’s a stranger to the washing machine and he relies on benefits. Then there’s the issue of his drug taking, but still….
A sweet, affecting story, moving backwards and forwards through Mrs McCreedy’s life and showing how, sometimes, decisions are so much easier when choices are made for you.
As Pip might say, “live a little longer and you’ll see…”