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Publisher's Summary

Is it ever too late to change?

After a health scare, 77-year-old Barbara goes to convalesce in the sleepy Somerset village of Winsleigh Green with her sister, Pauline, who is now a widow. The sisters are like chalk and cheese - Barbara, outspoken and aloof and Pauline, good-natured and homely - so it’s not long before the tension starts to rise. 

But when Pauline accidentally knocks down a vagrant who goes by the name of Bisto Mulligan, the ladies find themselves with another houseguest. As he recovers, it becomes apparent that Bisto is not who he first seemed, and as the sisters get to know the kind and courageous man he really is, it’s clear Bisto has the potential to change both of their lives.

As the spring turns to summer and Winsleigh Green comes to life, can the three friends make the changes they need to, to embrace fresh starts, new loves, new lives and new horizons? Or do old habits die too hard? 

Funny, joyful and with a spring in its step that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last. Judy Leigh has once again written the perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee MacDonald and Cathy Hopkins.

©2020 Judy Leigh (P)2020 Boldwood Books

What listeners say about The Old Girls' Network

Average Customer Ratings
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Completely delightful!

It has been some time since I read a book that was such a joy! The characters were lovely, the humor invasive, the story line delightful and the performance excellent. I will certainly be listening to the rest of this author's works.

11 people found this helpful

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  • CK
  • 10-18-21

Fun like candy and roller skating

Starts out like it might be playful and meaningful, think Eudora Honneyset. Gradually spirals out of control into pink gobs of cotton candy, rainbows and unicorns. Fun while driving in traffic or doing laundry but kind of silly. I would do this for a long flight, anything where I juts needed to chill and feel happy.

7 people found this helpful

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Performance was amazing

A crotchety 77 year old woman goes to visit her small-town sister. Soon they run into a man who is at the bottom of his luck.

Usually a story with this many characters would have me confused and giving up, but both the unique descriptions and the talent of the voice actress made it easy to “see” each character and remember them.

A laugh out-loud heart-filled story. I recommend it for those of youwho like a fun story to escape into.

6 people found this helpful

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A wonderful story and a perfect narrator!

I loved this book from start to finish! The characters are many-faceted, with various personality traits such as witty, sweet and wry, set in places that I could easily imagine. I really enjoyed how the narrator brought each person to life. A wonderful “listen”!

6 people found this helpful

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Light drama and surprisingly humorous

Slow and stuffy start but many new characters are introduced and the intertwining relationships soon develop into sub-stories, each is uniquely woven into the previously mundane lives of two elderly sisters. They hadnothing in common to begin with, but a stranger changes their lives for the better.

4 people found this helpful

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So much fun

I Loved this book, what a fun story with great characters , very light romance and humor, it was very refreshing!

4 people found this helpful

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Well worth the ride

A journey for what awaits when you least expect life to begin. Life doesn’t have to become dull.

2 people found this helpful

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I don't want it to end!

I could relate to every character, and I just loved them. what precious characters

2 people found this helpful

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Cute story

I am glad to have found this Author. it's a book I can listen to in the car with others around. No bad words or scenes and has cute characters with real life stories. I am going to look for more of her books

1 person found this helpful

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cute story

cute story and decent narration. the men's voices were a little devoid of emotion, but overall a light and sweet listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katharine Kirby
  • 08-17-21

New Genre - Grannylit

Well I accepted this as a ‘included with your membership’ offer and didn’t realise what Judy Leigh’s speciality was. I may be a member of her target audience as I am just seventy so here goes.

The story is cosy, rewarding, and surprising, with a pantomime finale. Never judge a book by its cover could apply to Barbara’s initial reaction to the irritatingly named Bisto. By golly, the reader can get sick very quickly if the constant repetition of his nickname. Also the over use of the word giggle. Most of all despite the heroic efforts of Ms Tomlinson she just cannot do effective male voices.

This is an issue I have realised is constant with audible productions. You cannot take a man’s personality seriously when a woman tries to deepen and rough up her voice. Every time it makes the man sound like someone you’d run a mile from. Why not employ one more narrator to be the opposite gender? That would lift the stories into something miles above the present arrangement and make it much more like a book you’d enjoy when reading it yourself.

24 people found this helpful

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  • K. McCabe-Daly
  • 08-06-21

Sweet story

I enjoyed this book. I listened to it mainly in thr background as I did other things.
Its a sweet story, possibly a bit too sweet at times. Following some older ladies and gentlemen as they enjoy village life and form new relationships. One of the main characters felt a little unbelievable, having hidden talent after hidden talent!
And whislt the nickname Bisto is adorable, it did have me wondering if a large gravy company sponsored this publication!

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • H. Milne
  • 08-27-21

Tried hard to like it, and failed miserably.

I have made it to chapter 11 and really, really am not enjoying the book. The character of Barbara is loathsome. I cannot find anything amusing about the book, and things the characters say simply don’t make sense. Barbara asks “what is this all about?” when they go to the May fair and she sees Morris Men and a Green Man. She asks Len the farmer to bring over some pork, but then she says she only likes meat packaged up as you get in a supermarket. When being (yet again) superbly nasty to Bisto, she asks why isn’t he still with his Mammy? Well, if he is in his 70s one would surely think there is a high possibility his mother is dead? Given the 5 star reviews for this book, I was very disappointed and feel so depressed by Barbara that I am now extremely grumpy and dissatisfied!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Isobel
  • 08-18-21

Did not do anything for me.

I’m intrigued that anything so pallid in terms of content can have made it out into the world of published material to be honest. It is not a bad story just a rather uninspiring and predictable one that has nothing about it’s telling that lifts it out of mediocrity. If I had paid for it I would certainly have returned it for a refund. I found the narration as well-executed as you could expect and did not suffer from the irritation mentioned by others so far as the male characters were concerned. I just cannot understand what there was about the story and characters that made it worthwhile going to the effort of writing about them. I love The Diary of a Provincial Lady, an have listened to Mapp and Lucia many times , both being essentially light and possibly pointless in a way, but they are entertaining, which this was not, for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jannymc
  • 09-13-21

great

loved every moment of the book will tell all my friends about it thankyou

2 people found this helpful

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  • cat
  • 09-12-21

laughter and enjoyed

light hearted and leaves you feeling good....what more can you ask from a book :-)

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs Rachael M Pickering
  • 04-26-21

Sweet easy read

Nice & easy to listen too, loved the narrator. I felt I was a bit young for this book at 44yrs old but I still enjoyed it. Very sweet story of friendship & village life!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • PPG
  • 03-26-22

Jolly read

Jolly and enjoyable

Slightly disappointed that the main aspirations of the key female characters was simply to get a man

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • LittleMissP
  • 03-11-22

Boring but good for getting to sleep

A slow moving story with no real plot. Good for a bedtime listen to drop off to sleep to as did not keep my attention for any length of time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Judith Horth
  • 02-24-22

Couldn't finish it - awful!

I listened to as much as I could bear of this audio book and when I realised there were another 6 hours to go I almost lost the will to live. The plot is thin and allowed to bumble along with absolutely no sense of jeopardy for any of the characters who are all ghastly clichés and pretty much unlikeable. The writing is poor, with way too much repetition and lack of variety in sentence length or structure - a good editor would have had a field day with it - and the performance professional but ponderous. Truly ghastly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-22

Lovely

A lovely story with warm characters you really feel for. A feel good experience, worth reading. Heart warming.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gemlavie
  • 12-15-21

Never too late for love

Nice story about older people falling in love in a quirky little village . It dragged on a bit towards the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • julee latimer
  • 11-30-21

Beautiful heart warming story

A wonderful tale of life after 70,. Thoroughly enjoyable characters and fun slice of life in an English village. Superbly and believably narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy Marsh
  • 03-03-21

Fantastic

A book about love, empathy and self awareness. fantastic read and great character choices. recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra
  • 04-20-22

Lovely Story

I had lots of chuckles throughout this book. Likeable characters. I could listen to it over again.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Holly
  • 03-25-22

Sweet rom com

I really enjoyed listening to this light and easy rom com. The narration was fantastic and really brought to life the individual characters. The story was a fairly traditional rom com arc but in an older population. Some of the characters not particularly likeable and the romantic matches were questionable. Nevertheless it was a sweet story and I enjoyed it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosie Bonham
  • 03-10-22

Really sweet

You honestly can't help but feel part of the little village and become invested in the community! Grabbed it on a whim and gave it a shot and can really give it a really solid recommendation!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-22

Loved it!!

A beautiful light hearted story of the older generation. Enjoyed it tremendously, highly recommend. Excellent narration.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • 02-20-22

Light hearted story with interesting characters & surprises along the way

A light hearted story, well read by the narrator - with interesting, complex & relatable characters & lots of surprising twists along the way Well worth listening too! Really a joy for all ages

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-18-22

Utterly entertaining

Heading towards the latter part of my life I found this story wonderfully uplifting
I loved the sisters and the truthfulness of their relationship
Laugh out loud dialogue and home truths
Very enjoyable listening, will revisit the sisters again