The Banksia House Breakout – James Roxburgh

I really enjoyed this fun-filled adventure along the east coast of Australia.  Imagine your grandparents going rogue and disappearing on a road-trip complete with the false teeth and walking sticks 😊

Ruth has lived her entire adult life in her home she shared with her now late husband.  It’s the home she raised her children in, it’s the home that is filled with all her memories.  So when her workaholic son moves her into a retirement village it’s not an easy thing for Ruth to come to terms with.

It’s especially hard when her new home at Banksia House consists of a bed, a chair and a small bedside table, nothing homely, just a cold and clinical hospital-style room.  Add to the fact that the first friend she met dies on the first night she arrives and certain staff members seem anything but pleasant, it’s certainly a bleak picture that is painted.

So when Ruth learns that her life-long friend Gladys is terminally ill she knows she needs to go and visit her one last time.  But what do you do when your son won’t take the time off work to take you and it seems like you can’t leave Banksia House?  Simple, you enlist a couple of willing “inmates” and you escape.

What follows is beautifully warm and funny read as the “wanted” seniors make their way up the coast, somehow managing to get themselves in all manner of situations along the way.

As a mum of 3 boys who have all said “bags not” when asked who is going to take care of me in my old age (yes, aren’t kids charming – lol) it was also a frightening reminder of how lonely old age can become for many.

A huge thank you to the author for sending me a copy of his book to read, well worth picking up if you are after a sweet heart-warming read.

Thursdays at Orange Blossom House – Sophie Green

I read this as part of a read-a-thon with a fabulous group of fellow bookstagrammers thanks to Tandem Collective.

I’m so glad I did because this book is not something I think I would otherwise have picked up.  As most of you know I’m a bit of a thriller addict so if there’s no dead body popping up in the story I usually get a little confused.

For that reason, this was a nice change of pace for me, a palette cleanser almost.  An easy character-driven read that just meandered along at a pleasant stroll.

Based around three women of different ages and all in different situations who come together at a local yoga class in Cairns, Far North Queensland.  The characters all have their own difficulties and dramas like everyone but through their weekly yoga sessions they build a strong friendship that all of them realise was missing from their lives.

I think the fact that it was set in Cairns probably added to the enjoyment for me.  I actually lived in Cairns at the same time this book was set so I could imagine everything that was being described, and when the release of Pulp Fiction was referenced in the book it made me laugh as I remember rushing to the local cinema in Cairns to see it and being asked for ID .

While not an earth-shattering five star read for me it was still nice to pick up a book that you didn’t have to think about too much and could just wander along amongst the cane fields.