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The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,213 ratings  ·  375 reviews
A moving, funny, heartwarming tale of love and friendship, for anyone who loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Keeper of Lost Things and Three Things about Elsie.

It's never too late to grow old disgracefully ...

The life of 79-year-old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the décor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointment
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2018)
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Bridget Finklaire I don't think Peggy is at all stupid - she's just old and forgetful. She's actually very witty, warm and wise. I get the feeling she knows what the re…moreI don't think Peggy is at all stupid - she's just old and forgetful. She's actually very witty, warm and wise. I get the feeling she knows what the real phrase is, and her getting it wrong is part of her "self-deprecating" humour. A lot of the things she gets wrong are modern concepts which are out of sync with her world. "Light-saver" instead of "light-sabre" and "iTelephone" instead of "iPhone" - so they are age-related too. (less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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It's been a while since I have read a novel which is so full of warmth and humour, with all its details of getting older, losing confidence, becoming invisible, taken for granted, fear of losing independence, the increasing frailties of the physical body and those memories that become ever so more elusive. 79 year old Peggy Smart is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband, Ted, and having to face the interference of her children, David and Jenny watching closely for signs of dementia and ...more
Miriam Smith
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbridgr
"It's never too late to grow old disgracefully...."
If I could give a book more than five stars then "The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village" written by Joanna Nell would be it! I could have kept on reading about 79 year old Peggy Smart and her refusal to grow old gracefully forever and if I ever find myself in a retirement home, it's these characters from the story that I'd love to be living alongside. I loved every adorable minute, such rip-roaring fun with the right amount of emoti
Louise Wilson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The life of 79 year old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the decor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. The highlight of Peggy's day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim.

Peggy Smart is still grieving the loss of her husband, Ted. Having incontinnance problems, her kids think she is showing signs of dementia and they worry that she can't cope on her own. Peggy feels life has passed her by but then Angie, a
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
I decided to read this after happening across a few glowing reviews and I am glad I did. I hope if ever I end up in a retirement village that I have half the fun the characters in this book enjoyed.

I guess there is a big audience out there these days (the baby boomers of course) for stories like this one, showing that getting old is not the end of everything. Love and marriage can occur even at 80 and it is never too late to update your hairstyle, buy a new wardrobe and get out and enjoy yoursel
This is such a lovely, warm book about the aging gracefully and disgracefully. Peggy Smart, age 79, is such a wonderful character. Living in a retirement village for four years since her beloved husband Ted died, she is lonely with only her aging dog Basil for company. The highlight of her day is spying on her neighbour, the handsome Brian Cornell, heading off for his daily swim. Besieged with a tricky bladder and a failing memory, Peggy has to keep fighting off her children's desire to get her ...more
Veronica ⭐️
I was quite torn by this book. It was funny and entertaining but I also found it easy to put down. I was easily distracted by other things and it ended up taking me a week to read. I wasn’t drawn into the story or the characters, just a mere bystander.

I couldn’t relate to Peggy, a frail 79 year old. My mother at 80 and my mother-in-law at 89 are both active, vibrant and extremely self reliant people.

I really enjoyed the politics of the retirement village
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is the first novel by British-born Australian doctor and author, Joanna Nell. Peggy Smart has been at Jacaranda Retirement Village since Ted died four years ago. She’s quite happy sharing her little unit with Basil, her ageing Shih Tzu, but hasn’t made any real friends. And she would like to get to know the handsome Brian Cornell a bit better: nights without Ted to cuddle her can be a bit lonely.

Might he ever be interested in someone as dull as
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great story it is funny, moving, emotional and so very heart-warming, make yourself comfortable for this one while you enjoy meeting the lovey seventy nine year old Peggy Smart and the highs and lows of living in a retirement village and aging with decorum and aplomb as best she can.

Peggy is widowed, she has two children David who is married to Mel they have two children Sam and Emily and Jenny who lives with her girlfriend and the alpacas, Peggy lives alone with her dog Basil, he
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
What an utterly delightful read ! I loved this book from the beginning, and while it started off with lots of humour, there were also some very serious issues covered too. The story is about Peggy, a 79 yr old lady,living in the retirement village, struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved husband Ted, trying to maintain some sort of independence and battling a multitude of health ailments connected to growing old. Throw into that mix, interferring grown up children, assorted residents, a ...more
Natalie M
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
What a lovely read! I am almost convinced getting old isn’t going to be too bad. The antics of Peggy and her life-long friend Angie are set against the backdrop of what could be any retirement village anywhere. The mundane, age-related worries and issues are tinged with humour, good intentions, and finally the reason we should all keep on giving, loving and enjoying every single day.
Kylie H
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-read, humour
This is a funny, feel good book that had me chucking away to myself on the couch. Peggy is a delightful 79 year old resident at the Jacaranda Retirement Village. She has a secret crush on Brian next door, widow who still has his own teeth. She lives in fear of her children taking her on a 'drive' to a Nursing home, never to be seen again. And she is about to encounter and old 'friend' who manages to make her feel alive, invisible and insanely jealous all at the same time.
I can highly recommend t
Jeanette Lewis
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every Retirement Village should have several copies of this book in their library, because it's all true! And, every village has at least one of each of the characters described in this fabulous and humorous read.

The main character, Peggy Smart is recently widowed, the family home has been sold, much pushing by her two adult children and now she is living in the retirement village. Her children have taken on the parenting role of her and she obsesses that they are pushing her more and more into
Theresa Smith
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2018
‘With one wrist in plaster, it was difficult for Peggy to hold the Women’s Weekly. It was an old issue but if she had read any of the articles before, she couldn’t remember them and consumed the glossy pages with fresh eyes. She consoled herself with the thought that if she were going senile, she’d save herself a fortune in magazines.’

What a fabulous novel The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is! In many ways it reminded me of the themes and humour of The Second Best Exotic Marigold
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE this little gem of a book and it’s
353 pages of pure joy! I could barely contain my excitement when late one evening I received a uncorrected proof copy of the debut novel of Joanna Nell’s. Leading us into the lives of Peggy and Angie with warmth, hilarity and insight during their glory years gives the reader a hopefulness that although life maybe moving at a faster pace, we can nonetheless keep laughing and enjoying.

Joanna Nell writes with a calm and clarity of a well-seasoned w
Kayte Nunn
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charming, funny (wonderful malapropisms) and warm, this is a story about women of a certain age and their concerns, told in a sympathetic and humorous way. Loved it.
Kate Forsyth
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tired, over-worked, and under-appreciated, I was facing a pre-dawn flight down to Melbourne and wanted something to read that would help brighten my day. I reached for The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell, which has the tagline ‘a moving, funny, heart-warming tale of love and community.’ It sounded perfect. And it was perfect! I was chuckling to myself even before the plane’s wheels had left the tarmac.

Peggy Smart is 79½. She lives at the Jacaranda Retirement Village
For me this book was only a 2.5 star read.
I liked aspects of the novel, and had some gentle laughs, especially with some of the goings-on at the Jacaranda Retirement Village, with its motley crew of residents.
My main issue lies with the writer's depiction of the lead character, Peggy Smart. It seemed to be all over the place - one minute daft, another minute savvy, yet another moment sickly and ineffectual.
I could not warm to Peggy, nor was I convinced by her thoughts, views and actions.
It's not
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven't been this entranced by a character since Eleanor (Oliphant, of course). And for all of the same reasons I loved Eleanor, I LOVED Peggy Smart.

We meet Peggy at 79 1/2 years old, on the verge of something big. That premise alone makes it unique. How many books have you read where the protagonist is older than 40 (or even 50!) but still discovering things about themselves...still finding new things to explore in life? Not many, I'd guess. This book is a joy for that reason alone - it's a c
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When The Single ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village was compared to one of my favourite books The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry I had to request it and I am so glad that it did. I loved this book.
79-year-old Peggy is one of the residents at the Jacaranda Retirement Village. She is still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband Ted, she is not a very confident person. All her clothes are beige. She has incontinence problems and her kids thinks she is starting to suffer from Dementia
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun read. What a character Peggy and her friends at The Jacaranda Retirement Village are. As well as being very humorous, this also touches on important issues such as how we treat our elderly, especially our parents, how elderly people feel about getting older, maintaining their independence as long as possible and who they see themselves as, especially after they lose their partner and have to live life without them. Peggy goes through lots of learning about herself as the st ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a hopeful and heartwarming story of enduring friendship that also highlights the losses elderly people face every day, including that of their independence. It shines a light on ageing and grief, and shows that although the skin and bones might age, the heart and mind are forever young.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Peggy Smart was 90% sure it was Monday.”

LOL! What a terrific opening line! I absolutely loved it! This book was a fun story, filled with quotes I very much enjoyed.

• She still had bottles of Ted’s pills in the cupboard, but couldn’t bring herself to dispose of perfectly good medication.

• She would have asked David to take her back to the family GP, Dr. Steele, but she’d already outlived him.

• Women of a certain age need color next to their face. Rule number one.

Even though I have to admit that
Bree T
This is probably not something I’d have chosen to pick up without receiving it for review. Peggy is around my grandmother’s age, both are 80-odd. One actually lives in a retirement village that sounds quite similar to the one Peggy lives in, the other still lives in the home she and my grandfather retired in, although she’s on her own now. My parents face challenges with both their mothers – my dad’s mother, the one in the retirement village is coming to a time where she’s no longer able to live ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book!
The main character, almost 80-year-old Peggy Smart is an adorable character; likable in so many ways. She's quirky, funny, naive, intelligent, quick-witted, fiercely independent, and her internal dialogue is more than brilliant.
The author has done a fantastic job in creating a cast of wonderful characters in Peggy's life. There's Brian the handsome widower, David & Jenny, Peggy's children, and the wonderful Angie who brings with her a zest for life and all things glamoro
Elaine's Reviews
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is without a doubt my favourite book of 2018 so far. A tale of 79 year old Peggy Smart living in Jacaranda Retirement Village. Peggy wears a lot of beige and lives simply. She reconnects, after 50 years with her childhood friend, Angie Valentine. Angie, also 79, is vibrant and colourful, in both clothes and personality, with a wonderful lust for life. Together they change each other's lives in ways they couldn't have forseen.
This beautiful book made me laugh out loud, made me cry and then h
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
A sweet, funny and charming read that highlights all the physical and emotional pitfalls of ageing, and includes the message that you are never too old to find love.

Thanks to Joanna Nell, Hodder & Stoughton, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed out loud and loved this story, where growing older doesn’t mean getting old. I think we would all benefit from having a Peggy and Angie in our lives no matter our age.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Peggy Smart is a 79 year-old widow. She wears neutral colours. She attends committee meetings. She is a great baker. Until her glamorous old friend arrives in Jacaranda Retirement Village and her life is turned completely upside down.

What makes this book an absolute delight is Peggy. She is hilarious and one of the most likeable characters you will ever come across. Her friends at the retirement village are also quite charming and entertaining. Although there are all the usual characters you wou
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘I don’t see the point at my age. Who’s going to look at me anyway?’

Being a member of the sandwich generation (responsible both for bringing up your own children and caring for your ageing parents) I fully appreciate what this book has to offer. An engaging read, heartwarming really, about the high and low points of what it is to grow old. There will be laughter, there will be tears but most of all it highlights what it’s like to be facing the twilight years of one’s life.

‘It’s difficult to make
Katy Noyes
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Warmly funny, honest and touching story of a bunch of pensioners who have most definitely NOT given up on living.

In the genre of retirement fiction (Hundred Year Old Man, Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen), there's a lovely connection - giving the reader the chance to see older people as no different to someone younger. They have crushes, they enjoy jokes, they have insecurities, skills, loves, worries...

Peggy Smart is fast approaching her 80s. With a long-standing bladder issue, she's a widow with
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Joanna Nell is a UK born writer and doctor. Her short fiction has won multiple awards and has been published in various journals and literary anthologies. In 2016 she was awarded a residency at The Bundanon Trust. Her bestselling debut novel The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village was published by Hachette Australia and Hodder & Stoughton (UK) in 2018.
A former ship's doctor, Joanna now w

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