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Lovers And Newcomers

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  434 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Iris and Ruby comes a novel of a group of old friends reunited to start a new stage of their lives.
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Oct 16, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-authors
Six college friends reunite in their 60s to live together on the same property. It sounds like a great premise for a story - can friendships be re-ignited after people have lived totally different lives for many years? Once I got all of the characters figured out, I really started to enjoy this book. I think that it's a book that will be most enjoyed by readers the same age as the characters because many of the topics focus on ageing, health and the struggles in long term marriages. Younger rea ...more
Jul 03, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was ok
I've loved Rosie Thomas before but I could simply not see the point of this book. The writing is OK, but the characters were just not there for me and neither was the story. I found it hard to finish. I persevered, hoping that it would get better, but quite frankly, I don't know why I bothered. I am deeply disappointed about this book as I expected it to be so much better
Can old friends come together again and relive the past. As someone said those of an older age could relate to this story. It was sad to realize that the characters were afraid to grow old. Because of this, their lives were turned upside down. You can't relive the past and you can't slow down the future.
Dec 02, 2016 Nann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It isn't until you come to live in each other's pockets that you start to see all the cracks."
"Husbands, marriages, children, lovers, all these came and went. What you were left with was friends."

Miranda lives in her late husband Jack's family home in the English countryside. She invites her closest friends from university to come to live on the estate. Selwyn and Polly will renovate the barn and live in it. Amos and Katherine will built a brand new, modern house. Colin, whose partner Stephen
Jodie Stroud
Jun 08, 2017 Jodie Stroud rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Friends who have known each other since their youth but have lost their closeness over the years come together as they head into late middle age. Secrets, affairs, silent battles and fears are all overcome to prove that it's never too late to live your life. All in all a pleasant read.
Feb 22, 2017 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Every character seemed too self absorbed. Could not relate to any of them. First book I've read by this author.
Susan oleneack
May 20, 2017 Susan oleneack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story

I really enjoyed the characters and the story was so entertaining. The generational contrasts were terrific and as a baby boomer, I could surely relate.
May 29, 2017 Dee rated it really liked it
Always fun to read books set in England when traveling in England. This book combines love and loss, "starting over" at late middle age, and a bit of an archeological adventure.
Carolyn Kelso-Bell
Mar 14, 2017 Carolyn Kelso-Bell rated it it was amazing
I have read two of Rosie Thomas' books before, and just rediscovered her. This is a great read; a group of older adults decide to retire together because they are old friends. Things don't quite work out as planned. It is very descriptive of people and place, and the plot moves along nicely. I really enjoyed it and will look for more of hers.
Oct 17, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central (

Miranda Meadowe has spent most of her late adult life living alone. After her husband passed away, she had a hard time imagining herself with any other man, content to spend her hours within the walls of the home passed down through family lines. While she feels herself rooted to the present, she also finds herself remembering the past, the special relationships she’d formed with college friends decades earlier. Back when she saw
Jul 08, 2012 Lorrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lorrie by: Patsy
Shelves: contemporary
Book was good! I read it really fast. It just wasn't epic. It was a fairly big story with so much going on. Miranda (Barb), Selwyn & Polly, Amos & Katherine, Jessie & Rafferty, Chris the archaeologist, and the magnificent, decaying Mead mansion.

All characters were so flawed and these flaws were so very visible right from the start that I had trouble falling in love with/or really liking for that matter any of them. I did see bits of me in each of them but found most of them to be so
Leanne Hunt
Apr 26, 2013 Leanne Hunt rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This is a novel about friendship and ageing. It takes place over the course of about nine months, from the time six friends, all in their late fifties, move into an English country house to the start of the following summer. As the seasons change, so the circumstances of the characters alter, and as each one faces his or her own long-term issues, the group as a whole is affected. The book is beautifully written, taking note of the particular features of advanced age and infancy. Themes such as m ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Pauline rated it it was ok
Lovers and Newcomers is not my usual kind of book but it did prove to be entertaining and I manged to finish it without too much effort.

After reading the blurb I assumed this group of friends would be in their twenties or thirties but boy was I wrong! Turns out they're in their late fifties, early sixties which I think is what put me off from the beginning as it wasn't what I was expecting. On the other hand, Thomas wrote beautifully and the feelings, emotions and personalities of each characte
Dec 19, 2014 Meg rated it it was ok
This book was easy and quick to read but I didn't get much out of it. The blurb sells it as 6 friends who were wild in the 60s reunite in their 60s - sounds interesting, but that isn't really what this book was about. The worst thing was the characters - I still don't actually know who the '6' were and I was very confused about who was who. They were all very interchangable and inadequately characterised - I couldn't keep track of who was who and there were several characters who seemed to have ...more
Feb 17, 2016 Kathe added it
I suspect you need to be "of a certain age" to fully enjoy this book, but I am and I did. Briefly, six old friends from college days wind up living together in a rambling old house in an English village. Various events transpire and people change and change places, but really, it's the characters, nicely sketched and full-blooded, all, who kept me turning the pages. When you want an absorbing read to gulp down on a snowy day, this is it.

(Rosie Thomas has written something like 20 other novels -
Jo Barton
Jun 08, 2010 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute gem from one of my favourite authors. A richly woven tapestry bringing together the best and the worst in people. It just shows how quickly lives can change and unravel. Quirky characters, each with their faults and flaws, but with an underlying understanding that bonds them together.Some of the characters are not always likeable, but their shared experiences seem all too realistic. If there is any criticism, it's that the first 80 pages were a bit slow, but once the tribal q ...more
May 06, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable story about relationships from the past and how time does, or does not, affect them. Widowed Miranda decides to offer her dear old friends a share in her extensive country house, for companionship and so she can afford some essential repairs to her home. The village is unsure of how to take these newcomers but inevitably events provoke changes as past and presentcollide, not least when an important archeological find halts the building of one of the new homes. It is never too late ...more
Carinya Kappler
Sep 27, 2016 Carinya Kappler rated it really liked it
Rosie Thomas has set her sights on the Baby Boomer generation with this novel. Is there life and purpose for the over 60's. Perhaps more pertinently, does re-kindled or new romance stack up against years of marriage and child rearing? This is a story about change, hope, disappointment and inter-generational communication as several retired Baby Boomers decide to spend their golden years together on a beautiful property in the English countryside.
Theirs was a bumpy journey with unexpected results
Aug 28, 2014 Frances rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a bit sad and rather depressing. It focused on a group of friends who were nearing their sixties, trying to re-establish the bonds of their student days. As their children had flown the nest, relationships fell apart and human failings became evident. I found the younger characters much more interesting and intelligent than their older counterparts and didn't really buy into the concept of Mead as a retirement haven.
Dec 27, 2010 Bowerbird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2011-read
Anyone who enjoys Rosie Thomas will love this one. As a change from previous books it is set in the UK. A group of old friends accept an invitation to live in the country together in an old house belonging to their mutual friend, now a widow: Miranda. The idyll that they imagine the future will be however, begins to disintegrate as old memories are stirred. As an old burial site is discovered on the land it becomes obvious that past and future are linked.
Dec 12, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Miranda Meadowe decides being a lonely widow in her crumbling country house is not for her. She decides to try and turn back the clock to the days of university and invites five of her oldest friends to come and join her to live, and to ward off the prospect of old age. All have their own reasons for accepting, but life changes.

This is a story of loves lost, new hope and one with some drama. Quick read and one I would recommend.
Jun 08, 2014 Ann rated it liked it
I really enjoyed "Iris & Ruby" so having "Lovers & Newcomers" on hand, I eagerly read on...Was it too much Rosie Thomas at one go or was it a book that just didn't reach the same level of interest? In any event, I found this book very slow fact, I skipped several pages just to finish the book.
I know the author was trying to capture, old friends, new friends, change, but the story dragged and in the end I found I really didn't care about the characters.
May 12, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this . Once again an easy gentle read more about the characters than the story although that is very relevant. I might have found it more appealing being the age of the characters with similar aged offspring. It is a time of big change when you retire and families split and move apart and grow and this is all part of life's rich tapestry which is what the novel portrays.
Jun 27, 2012 Susie added it
I have had this book on my shelf for ages and have to admit i have put off reading it, i thought it would be a lot of middle aged drivel! DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!! This is a lovely story with interesting characters which subtly grow on you so that by the end you find yourself really caring what happens to them, i will admit i shed a tear or two.
Nina Levison
Oct 28, 2014 Nina Levison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story which really explores the dynamics of friendship. The three central women characters are very different and totally believable. Nice to read a story with strong older women in it, although the younger characters are interesting too. I loved the historical elements of the story and felt the whole story was well thought out. A good read.
Judy O'Laoi
Feb 09, 2016 Judy O'Laoi rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this novel, about 60yos planning the rest of their lives, and how each viewed and changed their plans. Was interesting, very descriptive (I could easily picture dwelllings, countryside) Looking forward to reading more by Rosie Thomas
Apr 07, 2013 Lara rated it really liked it
A critic on the front of this book says that Rosie Thomas is one of the best storytellers around, a view I wholeheartedly agree with. A gentle paced story of friendship, love, betrayal and new beginnings. For me it flowed well, maybe a tad slow in places, but on the whole, an enjoyable story.
Jul 28, 2012 Penny rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This is a 3 to a 3.5 read. I have read many Rosie Thomas and on the whole enjoyed this one. It is a gentle read about retired people who all come to live together on a farm to reduce costs and old tensions surface. It's a light read, good for the beach or light relief.
Julie (73)
Oct 20, 2010 Julie (73) rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-read
This was an enjoyable read but I felt that it was not up to the usual high standard that I expect from Rosie Thomas books. The story took some time to get started too and that the first 100 pages were mostly unnecessary. I enjoyed this but nothing special.
Kathleen Freeman
I am a fan of Rosie Thomas' books - this one was just okay for me. The thing I really liked about this book was that the main characters were older not twenty-somethings and they had been friends for 40 years, definitely food for thought in this book.
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Janey King, née Morris was born on 1947 in Denbigh, Wales, and also grew up in North Wales. She read English at Oxford, and after a spell in journalism and publishing began writing fiction after the birth of her first child. Published since 1982 as Rosie Thomas, she has written fourteen best-selling novels, deal with the common themes of love and loss. She is one of only a few authors to have won ...more
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