Today I’m passing the blog over to Mandie who has a review of The Growing Pains of Jennifer Ebert. Thanks to publishers Trapeze Books for providing an advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
From the bestselling author of CALLING MAJOR TOM comes a heartwarming comedy about unlikely friendships and community.
Fans of The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan, The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle, The Map of Us by Jules Preston, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and Checking Out by Nick Spalding will love this.
Nineteen-year-old Jennifer is regretting her hasty move into Sunset Promenade, an unusual retirement home taking in students to save money.
Despite their differences in age, Jennifer and the older residents thrive and embark on a series of new adventures.
But when Sunset Promenade is threatened with closure, cracks begin to show, and this quirky group of friends must work together to save their home.
The Growing Pains of Jennifer Ebert, aged 19 going on 91 is a funny, warm and uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how it’s never too late to have the time of your life…
Jennifer Ebert has transferred to Morecambe University to escape an embarrassing situation she had suffered at Loughborough and to also change from studying Economics to Film Studies. As her student accommodation is not quite ready she has agreed to stay at the Sunset Retirement home at a reduced rent as part of an initiative to mix the elderly with the younger generation. This idea is not really that far-fetched as there have been similar things happening in real life but more with 5 – 9 year olds than university students.
In the beginning I did get the feeling that this was a book with two separate stories, that of Jennifer and the university students and then the residents of the retirement home as the book was told from the two different viewpoints with very little bringing them together. This changed about halfway through the book when the group bonded over some home-made brew and a fancy dress party. From this point on I really began to enjoy the book as you got to see more of the personalities of the residents and in some cases find out why they had the attitudes they did.
There were certainly a couple of moments where I was chuckling whilst reading, one being when Jennifer remembered the events that caused her to change both her university and course, and when you read the events that led up to it you just know it will not end well. The other one was when the group has gone for their yearly trip to the Isle of Man. Whilst scattering the ashes of one of the residents, they forgot to check which way the wind was blowing…I think you know where this is heading…. Now the reason I found it funny was I know how they felt as when we went to scatter the ashes of my father in law, my mother in law didn’t check the wind direction.
I think if I was honest the only thing that didn’t make sense to me was the two Chinese students. Although it was good to know that there was more than just Jennifer and John Paul staying there, they didn’t really add anything to the story, and they were soon relocated to some of the finished student accommodation within the university.
If from the title of the book you are expecting something along the lines of Adrian Mole, then this might not be the book for you. That being said this is a good read that shows that no matter what age you are, you can find common interests if you look for them and that sometimes you have to learn to accept yourself for who you are as much as others around you do.
If you would like a copy of the book, then you can find it at the following retailers: