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Unlike those quoted in the publicity blurb, I didn't find this book humorous, or uplifting. I continued reading waiting for a great denoument, and while there was certainly action towards the end, it was insufficient to dissipate the boredom the book engendered. I found a couple of the characters overdrawn and not particularly likeable. The emphasis on alcohol consumption on a daily basis became wearing. I found the book almost embarrassing in its depiction of over 70s English characters, and the repetitive outpouring of love between the two main characters somewhat" over the top"
A thoroughly enjoyable read, taking in places I visited as a child. This book brought a lump to my throat. It's so funny at times, but there are glimpses of sadness you know have changed the course of the characters' lives. What goes on behind closed doors? What makes one person grow old full of bitterness and another full of joy? Rich characters you get to know and care about. Who wants to grow old gracefully?
This is the second book I have read by Judy Leigh (if you haven't read The Old Girls' Network then you are in for a treat!) and I can't wait to read more. In Heading Over the Hill, eccentric, hilarious retired couple Billy and Dawnie move to Margot Street (or 'Maggot Street' as Dawnie calls it!) much to the joy of many of their neighbours and to the dismay of one particular set. Age is just a number to Billy and Dawnie and they intend to grow old as disgracefully as possible. This novel has a wonderful cast of warm, funny and witty characters who kept me entertained throughout. Highly recommend.
When Billy and Dawnie move into a rented house in ‘Maggot’ Street, as a base for their search for a dream home on the North Devon coast, their new neighbours are not impressed. Billy’s Harley Davidson and drum kit unloaded from the van on arrival get the curtains twitching and tongues wagging. Dawnie’s eclectic wardrobe and collection of wigs allow her change her appearance enough to make the curtain twitchers certain that they are living next door to a bigamist. Far from dividing the community though, Billy and Dawnie become the catalyst that brings the community together. Through deft handling of comedy, poignancy and tragedy, Leigh brings the characters on Margot Street to life. We are offered the opportunity to understand and empathise with them all as the book fills in and develops their stories. Leigh’s ability to create wonderfully human characters with their range of qualities and flaws shines from the pages. If you have read Judy Leigh before you will love Billy and Dawnie. If you haven’t, you should.
Twists and turns along the way, with a great story. Making you feel like you are there. Wanting to feel the wind and sun on your face and as usual the author put-in loveable characters. I look forward to next book
Another wonderful book from Judy Leigh. Her characters are warm and believable. The story is vibrant and life afirming. This story, like her previous ones would easily translate to the screen! Looking forward to her next book!
not much 'heading over the hill' - one house move - and clunky writing in parts eg where the mum was explaining to the dad about the children. I get that readers need to be put in the picture, but not in laborious conversations that just wouldn't happen. Interesting characters, not all believable. Some good bits, overall a pleasant read.