It’s disappointingly rare to read a book about older women, so I was interested to see how Charlotte Wood approached her novel about three women who return to clean the beach house of their friend who has died.
Each character is expertly created, and I felt a real connection with each of them. One is a former restauranteur, another an author who cares little about her appearance and the third, an out-of-work actress who works to maintain her famous breasts and impressive curls.
In some ways, the three seem unmatched, and you wonder what they have in common. However, as each lets down their guard, it is clear that they share deep connections that span decades, despite their differences.
I really enjoyed learning about each personality, and while I’m no dog lover, I even felt an affection for the elderly dog that appeared throughout the novel, hinting at the awful reality of physical and mental ageing.
However, this book is not without a sense of hope and optimism, as the three women gain strength from each other as they face the difficult realities of getting older.
I really enjoyed Wood’s novel and wish there were more like it, in which complex, sometimes unlikeable, but always authentic older women are at the centre of the action.