The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell
At nearly ninety, retired nature writer Hattie Bloom prefers the company of birds to people, but when a fall lands her in a nursing home she struggles to cope with the loss of independence and privacy. From the confines of her 'room with a view' - of the car park! - she dreams of escape.
Fellow 'inmate', the gregarious, would-be comedian Walter Clements also plans on returning home as soon as he is fit and able to take charge of his mobility scooter.
When Hattie and Walter officially meet at The Night Owls, a clandestine club run by Sister Bronwyn and her dog, Queenie, they seem at odds. But when Sister Bronwyn is dismissed over her unconventional approach to aged care, they must join forces - and very slowly, an unlikely, unexpected friendship begins to grow.
Old age, infirmity and death are explored in the most humorous and sympathetic fashion in this wonderful story.
Escape may be the premise, but the overriding message is one of hope, making the best of things, and friendship. There are so many layers to this story, but the one I loved the most was how uplifting it was.
Can't praise it enough.
About the Author
Joanna Nell was born in the Midlands and graduated from Oxford University with a medical degree in 1991.
In 2003 she moved to Australia where she now works as a GP with a passion for women's health and care of the elderly.
Joanna writes character-driven stories of self-discovery for women of a certain age, creating young-at-heart characters who break the rules and defy society's expectations.
She lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches with her husband and two children.