Away with the Penguins, Hazel Prior: Book Review

A divine, uplifting book which I never knew I needed – you must read Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior.

The plot:

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea, perhaps with a ginger on the side. She enjoys watching a good wildlife documentary. She is never seen without her ruby-red lipstick. Although these days, Veronica is rarely seen by anyone, because at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

Veronica doesn’t have any family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway…

And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies. But today… today, Veronica is going to make a decision that will change her life.

Without a doubt 5/5 stars

This isn’t my usually genre, but when I saw the word ‘penguins’, I was good to go, and I was SO glad I did. It’s probably one of the most uplifting books I’ve ever read – without a doubt 5/5 stars.

Veronica is exactly what you think she’s going to be like, spending most of her time alone at home and is initially pretty gritty in the first 50 pages. By the end of the book, I loved her and so many other characters (including alllll the penguins).

Chapters follow both Veronica and Patrick, and this just meant I couldn’t put it down, especially with a particular bit with the diaries… I love how the synopsis doesn’t also give you much, because there are some delightful surprises along the way.

It’s written spectacularly well, especially with the different voices. Prior transports you to the Antarctic and makes you want to be there – I didn’t want to come back to reality; I could’ve stayed wrapped up in this story and their lives.

This is a warm and charming book, wrapped in a little black-and-white penguin tuxedo bow of love. I often found myself laughing or smiling, and yes, I even shed a tear.

I love penguins so am a little bit bias, but this book wouldn’t have been better with any other animals. Not only did I learn more about penguins, but also it makes me want to do good. I’m pretty caring for the environment anyway, but I can see (and advocate) the message the author gives.

I feel like this is going to be a book I read once a year around Christmas time to lift my spirits.

I have no faults and Away with the Penguins has grabbed me and won’t let me go, now holding a special place in my heart.

Away with the Penguins, Hazel Prior, RRP £12.99 (hardback); Book Depository 

Pages: 338

Publisher: Bantam Press

Genre: Fiction

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