Lucy Barrett’s new book

Lucy Barrett, Salad Days in the Golden Years: Introducing Virginia and Matilda (Cleveland downloadTN: Penman Publishing, 2015), 182 page

This is a delightful novel written by a member of the church and a resident of Skidaway Island.  This past year, Lucy turned 90 and celebrated by publishing her first book.  Salad Days in the Golden Years is a delightful book about Virginia, who decides she is not going to live with her only child, but is going to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).  There, she meets Matilda and the two of them become a dynamic duo—catching criminals, planning weddings, and seeking their own late-life lovers.  Virginia is a bit naïve, having moved to the facility as a widow, having been married to the same man for over fifty years.  She was used to having people (her husband, then her son) make decisions for her.  But she wants to be independent and slowly learns how to accomplish this.  Matilda tests her, as she is the type that likes to run the lives of others, but Virginia learns how they might be friends but without Matilda’s control.  Barrett weaves in a number of other characters including a young waitress at the CCRC whose boyfriend is shot.  This sets the scene for Virginia and Matilda to catch a fugitive.  In the background, with connections primarily through letters and voice mail, is her son’s family along with the trust fund manager.  As a mother-in-law, Virginia she has questions about her daughter-in-law who doesn’t like to cook, but is able to keep them to herself by moving to Magnolia Village.  Yet, Virginia is fearful of what would happen to her grandchildren if Pot Tarts were no longer manufactured.  By the end of the story, Virginia is content with her new life and even has a new boyfriend.  Another couple there is married and he has discovered he has a grandson.  Virginia’s own son has accepted that his mother can care for herself, while Virginia understands more about how his family is a bit different, but also works.  Although there are no “happy ever-after” stories in life, at last those at Magnolia Village will make the most of the journey.  This is a well-told story and I recommend it.

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