Today I'm reviewing Here Come The Girls.
Shirley Valentine, eat your heart out.
Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie have been friends since school. They day-dreamed of glorious futures, full of riches, romance and fabulous jobs. The world would be their oyster.
Twenty-five years later, Olive cleans other people's houses to support her lazy, out-of-work husband and his ailing mother. Roz cannot show her kind, caring husband Manus any love because her philandering ex has left her trust in shreds. And she and Frankie have fallen out big time. But Ven is determined to reunite her friends and realise the dream they had of taking a cruise before they hit forty.
Before they know it, the four of them are far from home, on the high seas.
But can blue skies, hot sun and sixteen days of luxury and indulgence distract from the tension and loneliness that await their return?
In typical Milly Johnson fashion, Here Comes The Girls drums home the importance of friendship, especially the unique friendship of people who have known you a long time. Roz, Ven, Olive and Frankie are all very different, and I am sure that readers will be able to relate to the characters in this book. My life is nothing like Olive's (thankfully!) and yet I had huge admiration for her- the gumption she possesses is really inspiring.
The cruise ship location is perfect escapism and exactly what I needed on a cold, miserable January night. Europe in the sun with the wealthy and the wannabes is much more alluring than Sheffield in the rain with everyone trudging through the puddles looking glum.
As always there is plenty of humour- little witty one liners which had me laughing out loud and fabulous imagery of the quirky minor characters sharing the cruise liner experience with the girls.
This book is a journey in every way- the personal journey of each girl as they find out more about themselves and their place in the world, the physical journey of the cruise and the emotional journey of the reader who is propelled through a gamut of emotions.
I enjoy all Milly Johnson books, but this is one of my favourites. If you haven't read it before, do. If you have read it before, read it again.
Here Come the Girls is out now, published by Simon and Schuster.