Today is my stop on the The Mercury Travel Club blog tour and I have for you all my review of this addictive and wonderful book! (And I finished the whole thing!!)
First though, here’s some information on the book!
About the Book
‘Hi, I’m Angela. My husband ran off with the caterer we hired for our daughter’s graduation party – pleased to meet you.’
Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer – from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980s tribute act and YouTube sensation.
But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote… what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things never go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she’s been looking for.
Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex. Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as they start to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it’s never too late for a second chance.
Sometimes you pick up a book and you realise that it is going to be a good one. I had that feeling when I opened the first page of The Mercury Travel Club. I was instantly swept away by the writing and the characters on the page and before I even really knew what had happened, I had read a third of the book. And then a half… and then two thirds and then I was, very sadly indeed, finishing the last page in the book. This book is one of those amazing feel-good, pick me up kind of reads that fills you with a scent of hope and happiness as you finish the last sentence. It is a book that made me laugh out loud and a book that had me reading passages out loud too. It also got me teary-eyed and sad. It was wonderful.
I no longer know what initially drew me to this book but I am so grateful that I decided to give it a go because I very much enjoyed reading it. From the outset, I was certain that it wasn’t going to be a “me” book. I loved the main protagonist and all of the characters in her life too. You’re thrown into her life as it all turns upside down and the story follows her as she re-builds it. And what a way to re-build it! I have always loved character-driven books and this does it by the shedload! This book had every single main character in the book go on a journey – literally and figuratively – as it progressed and I really, really loved that about the book. It made me feel so close and protective of everyone – just as I always want to feel. I love the way that Helen Bridgett made her characters rise from the ashes – so to speak.
All of the characters were vibrant and marvellous, all of them playing a very vital part in the story – both in their own journeys and for the main protagonist too. My favourite character by far was Angie. I loved how much she overcame during the book and how independent she became. This is a book that truly celebrates not just life after love but also women being independent and making a life of their own and being successful while they do it! Angie was such a strong, witty and self-sufficient character and I just loved her so much and was incredibly happy with the outcome of her journey. Second character that has to get a mention is Charlie. He was just such a loveable and wonderful character. He brought so much to the story and I very much enjoyed reading about his own journey. Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the hidden star – Patty. She was a magnificent character who brought so much entertainment to the book and the lives of the characters as well. I thought she was a brilliant addition to the book!
This is a book that I have already recommended to my mother because I know she will love it. I am also going to be pushing into the hands of a few other people that I know too. It is just a wonderful, fun and lovely read that kept me hooked from the first page to the last. It all starts off with a book club – which is amazing, right? – and the book literally takes you across the world as you read about a travel agent overcoming the pain and loss of a divorce. All of it written with a lovely hint of humour that will keep you smiling and hopefully laughing every now and again too. It is a divine read that I really think you do not want to miss!
About the Author
Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine – not usually at the same time.
Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series.