Review | Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior

“They’re not just full of wrinkles, they’re full of… stories. And so often we don’t bother to appreciate them till they’re gone.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: lost family, frozen vegetables, ruby-red lipstick, blog entries, cups of Darjeeling tea, pink guano, wooden boxes, mukluks, lemon cake, old diaries, dandelions, olives and, of course, a lot of penguins.

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime…

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s 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.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have 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 all of this.

I kept seeing this book everywhere and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so I took it as a sign that I needed to read it too! The concept seemed very different from everything I’ve read before, so I was intrigued to see what it was all about.

And – surprise, surprise – I loved this book! I think what I liked so much about Away With The Penguins is how wholesome it is. Not only the story is fun, but it also talks about topics such as family bonds and it has a huge environmental aspect regarding nature conservation and endangered species. 

Even though this book is fictional, the story feels realistic. You can see clearly the author took her time studying penguins and how researchers work to make this book. Penguins really are amazing creatures and fortunately I learned a lot while reading this book – that was a plus to me!

The characters in this were amazing. I know Veronica is meant to be this difficult, cold character, but it’s impossible not to like her. When I started reading this book I felt a bit apprehensive, but after a few pages she won my heart  and I understood why she acted the way she did. The plot of her getting to know her grandson better was also really nice. They started off on the wrong foot, but their relationship developed beautifully throughout the book!

If you are a romance junkie, I’m telling you right now: this is not a romance book. With that said, there is a mini love story here that even though it wasn’t necessary to the plot, it was still a nice addition in my opinion! It’s not the most amazing love story of all time, but it was still cute.It was a really fun book to read and I think it’s a great option to pick up if you’re looking for something light and heartwarming – and even if you’re not, I would still recommend you this book! It’s charming and you’ll fly through the pages. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a story with penguins? If you don’t love penguins already, you definitely will after reading this book!


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