A Little Birdie Told Me... by Sharley Scott
It’s 1988. The era of young love, with Scott and Charlene melting hearts in Neighbours, and a new princess for the Royal Family. With Bros, Madonna and Wet Wet Wet in the charts, and children hoping for Ghostbusters’ toys in their stockings.
But it’s not all fun for Belinda. If her life was a board game, she’s losing at snakes and ladders. Once she’d been working her way up one of those ladders but, thanks to her snake-like polytechnic lecturer, she’s toppled from the rungs. Now she works in an old people’s home, where her chief duties involve cleaning toilets and emptying commodes.
At least her lovely colleague, Joe, offers excitement in her otherwise dreary life. But Belinda can’t believe he'd be interested in someone like her. Not when her pretty friend, Tracey, only has to glance at a man to have him fall for her.
But just when it seems things are looking up for Belinda, the residents’ precious possessions start to go missing. Then she witnesses a disturbing incident and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, Belinda has Joe to guide her – until she discovers that he’s hiding a secret, one that forces her to make an agonising decision.
Will she continue to hide in the shadows, never speaking out – or will she put her future on the line to stand up for what is right? After all, she’s caring for a generation that's lived through two wars. Now it’s time to fight for them.
This story was a joy to read on so many levels. In no particular order: revisiting the 1980s (telephone boxes - remember them??); the main character, Belinda, with all her insecurities and her wonderful voice; Joe (warm, caring, hunky, an all-round nice guy); the residents with their well-written separate personalities; the care home itself and the insider knowledge; the plot with its twists and turns; the pathos of old age... There's more, but you're just going to have to read it yourselves.
I've read a couple of Ms Scott's novels, and thoroughly enjoyed them, but with this story she has excelled herself.
About the Author
Sharley Scott is the author of the Devon Seaside Guesthouse novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – and the Maddie Meadows series.
Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the fictional characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.
The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows – and its sequel The Gift of a Rose – portray the life of a working single mum. Some of the mischief Maddie's little one, Josh, gets up to will be familiar to all parents. In real life, Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now gets her own back him by telling tales to his girlfriend (some of the incidents in the books are inspired by him), although he returns the favour by recounting utterly embarrassing stories about his mum.
Sharley's latest novel ‘A Little Birdie Told Me…’ is being published in February 2021. This book goes back in time to the late eighties: a time of fun music, interesting fashion, strange hairstyles and no internet or mobile phones. Fancy having to talk to each other! (Says the author who frequents Facebook too often).
With that in mind, Sharley can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SharleyScott3/
Or follow Sharley on Twitter: @SharleyScott
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