Thanks for stopping by! I’m delighted to be sharing my review for The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan as part of the blog tour today. With thanks to Zoé at Zooloo’s Book Tours for the invite to join the tour. Also a thank you to the author and Spellbound Books for my copy. First things first let’s take a look at the description for 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.
It’s always going to be tricky taking the plunge and moving somewhere new. Even more so for Edel. Yes, it’s a fresh start but after the loss of her husband it is also a bittersweet one. However Edel isn’t lonely for long when she joins the local over 50’s group. Edel soon finds herself caught up in new friendships, local gossip and even romance. Although some of the members seem to love their gossip a bit too much! The little bits of drama that take place kept things moving along nicely. Which helped to keep me invested in seeing how everything would turn out for Edel.
The new connections that Edel made helped to create both a warm and inviting story. I also enjoyed the themes of second chances and new beginnings. The setting of a small village was a great way to help create a bit of tension and drama between all the characters. Showing that in a place that small everyone will know each other’s business. Let’s just say secrets don’t really stay hidden for long in a place like that. At first there were quite a few characters to follow but after a while it became easier to remember who was who. The romance was a sweet addition to the story and I think it helped to soften Edel’s character along with showing a different side to her personality.
The Ballynoon Friendship Circle has a heartwarming combination of friendship and romance. At its heart, there is a feel good story of second chances with a great cast of quirky characters that made me smile!
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 http://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.
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