Monday, 5 November 2018

Book Review - Five Ladies Go Skiing by Karen Aldous

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Title: Five Ladies Go Skiing
Author: Karen Aldous
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 5th November 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Five ladies, one unforgettable trip…
Escape to gorgeous Switzerland this winter with the brand new, uplifting read from Karen Aldous.

When Ginny Watts’ husband passes away, she is left grief-stricken, not only over her husband’s death but the secrets he has left behind…

Luckily for Ginny, she has four wonderful friends – Lou, Cathy, Angie and Kim – poised to whisk her away on a ladies’ skiing holiday to beautiful La Tzoumaz, Switzerland.

While all of them appear to have their lives together from the outside, little do the ladies know that every single one of them is fighting a secret battle.

As the trip unfolds, they realise that fears of tumbling down the slopes after too much après-ski fun is the least of their worries and all is not what it seems…

A novel showing that your life can really begin no matter your age.  For this is a group of almost 60 year old women, who have gone on a skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps to bring in the New Year. 

The catch - only Angie has ever skiied before, the rest are rather scared, but have been improving their fitness over the previous six months to prepare for this holiday. 

This is a trip for a close group of friends to spend time together, but also mark the 1 year mark of Ginny losing her husband.  And it soon becomes apparent just how she has been dealing with the grief, and as the book progresses over the week, it is like she has been reborn. 

At the start of the book we get to meet all five of the ladies, who call themselves Flowers (which is a rather clever acronym explained early on).  And although we need that intro to all five, the book then predominately splits the chapters and narrative into three in particular that we get to know rather well. 

So the three main 1st person points of view we switch between are Ginny, who really is the star of the book, her best friend Kim who lives in Australia, and Cathy who is also hiding things from the group. 

There are over the course of many apres ski sessions all sorts of revelations, its turns out for best friends they aren't that great at sharing ever last part of their lives, so  there are all manner of interesting conversations. 

What I found really admirable was the skiing, this is all about the nursery slopes, and learning the basics, unlike books featuring skiing with younger main characters that can seem reckless - this is far more considered, but they are all facing fears, and giving it a good go.  

I would have loved to have been on this trip with them, the village of La Tzoumaz in Switzerland sounded picture perfect, and the hospitality in the restaurants was second to none. 

This was for me a slow book to get into, I found I was enjoying it but at the same time, it just didn't feel like a quick read, but more measured and sedate - then again fast paced with the age of these characters would have potentially felt a bit wrong.  So the pacing does fit the book and there are plenty of story lines and talking points.   It is a really enjoyable story, that I'm really glad to have read. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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