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Publisher's Summary

A curmudgeonly but charming old woman, her estranged grandson, and a colony of penguins proves it's never too late to be the person you want to be in this rich, heartwarming story from the acclaimed author of Ellie and the Harpmaker.

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to which to leave her fortune. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she's coming to visit - and won't take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica's closed heart starts to open. 

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about.

©2020 Hazel Prior (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A warm and witty journey of self-discovery. Prior proves that it's never too late to become the person you were meant to be. But it might require a trip to Antarctica. And penguins." (Wendy Wax, USA Today best-selling author of My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding)

"Veronica McCreedy is an unforgettable heroine. Crotchety, clever and oddly lovable, she kept me turning pages well into the night. Prior has given us a story of love, loss, forgiveness, and the unlikely bonds that form when we least expect it. Humorous and true with finely-drawn characters." (Elyssa Friedland, author of The Floating Feldmans)

"A beautiful expedition into Antarctica, but more importantly, the human heart. Hazel Prior has written a sweet and timely story about how one cranky old woman is no match for a tiny, adorable penguin chick." (Brooke Fossey, author of The Big Finish)

What listeners say about How the Penguins Saved Veronica

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A mostly pleasant story

For the most part, I enjoyed this story. It has a variety of character that are wholly relatable. The plot works
Well and is a pretty low-stress ride. The only difficulty I had is that this author seems to really like to talk about horrible things happening to animals. It did not help the plot or message at all. Warning - the later chapters get kinda environmentally preacher!

19 people found this helpful

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  • KM
  • 02-22-21

I love everything about this book!

This book was an absolute delight. It's a story about a woman towards the end of her life who has regrets. She also wants to connect to something and she finds it in an unlikely place. I absolutely loved the curmudgeonly main character and she was very easy to sympathize with. The story is so well written and the narration is fantastic. I will add this book to the list of books I listen to over & over. It's such an interesting story that I listened to the whole thing in about a day. Loved it!

11 people found this helpful

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How the Penguins Saved Veronica

How the Penguins Saved Veronica is a lovely story about Veronica McCreedy. She’s on a mission to see penguins up close after watching a television documentary. No one can tell the octogenarian no because once she’s made up her mind there will be no argument. Veronica also wants to meet and get to know her grandson – someone she’s only recently discovered. The two will learn about each other’s past and could possibly grow to be close. This is a delightfully quirky story that had me laughing much of the time. There are also some deeply emotional scenes that gave depth to Veronica and Patrick. I enjoyed it all and loved the message spoken to Veronica by her father when she was a young girl: “There are three types of people in this world, Very. There are those who make the world worse, those who make no difference and those who make the world better. Be one who makes the world better, Very, if you can.”

9 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Story!

My daughter recommended this book to me and I’m so glad she did! Wonderful story and awesome readers with the perfect dialects for their individual locations. I watched a few documentaries about penguins after reading this book and learned a lot.

I look forward to listening to more audio books by this author.

Excellent!

8 people found this helpful

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Pot reference

liked it until he started talking about pot. so disappointed. couldn't get past it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • AB
  • 04-01-21

Charming and a great narrator

I’m not sure if I would have taken to this story as much if I’d read it, but the actor who plays the main character, Veronica, is so pitch-perfect and engaging that I was immediately engrossed. I appreciated the wonderful vocabulary of Veronica as well.

5 people found this helpful

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Easy Read

I enjoyed this book. It wasn't deep, or thought provoking but entertaining both in words and performances. If you are looking for a book that is amusing with pleasant narrators - this title will provide just that.

5 people found this helpful

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Refreshing and sweet.

This read was worth every minute of time. Veronica is a curious character and is such a delight.

5 people found this helpful

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Loved, loved, loved this book, especially the audiobook edition!!

Rarely have I enjoyed every aspect of a book so thoroughly as I have the audiobook edition of How the Penguins Saved Veronica. The storytelling is impeccable; the story arc, ingenious. I cannot wait to read more books by Hazel Prior! Every detail in her writing is delightful, cinematic, and lyrical and touches both your funny bone and soul. The story stayed with, kept me company, like a dear friend, throughout my day. I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

The voice actors were exceptional. I am so glad to have bought the audio version. Each reader captured the character. The reader who was Veronica’s voice was one of the best voice actors I’ve heard. Not only did she bring Veronica to life, she made the audio rendition irresistible. The book was marvelous as written, but she took it right over the top!

Don’t let anyone tell you any details about this story if you might be interested in reading it. How the author reveals each step of this beautiful adventure of the heart is surprising and delectable, even when you know what will happen. This story and all the characters will stay with you for the long haul.

Enjoy!

5 people found this helpful

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Much more than I expected

I had just finished finished a very heavy book and was looking for something light, sweet and happy. This book was so so much more than that. I fell in love with the characters immediately and become heavily invested in the relationship of Veronica and Patrick. Once the chest was opened I couldn’t put it down. Absolutely loved it. Heartwarming and deep. Truly a great read.

2 people found this helpful