#Review: A Year of Mr Maybes by Judy Leigh @JudyLeighWriter @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #blogtour #publicationday #BoldwoodBloggers #ItsNeverTooLate

By | March 29, 2022

It’s a delight today to be helping launch the blog tour for Judy Leigh’s latest book, A Year of Mr Maybes, and sharing my publication day review: published by Boldwood Books, it’s now available for kindle (free via Kindle Unlimited), in paperback, and as an audiobook. As always, my thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).

I’m starting to run out of things to say about Judy’s wonderful writing – I think you might just know by now that she’s one of my firm favourites, reliably producing the kind of books I so want to read, filled with older characters I can identify with so easily, with her perfect blend of humour and poignancy. Her last, The Golden Girls’ Getaway, was perhaps my favourite so far (you’ll find my review here) – but I do have a particular soft spot for both The Old Girls’ Network (you’ll find that review here), and the wonderful Lil’s Bus Trip (you’ll find my review here). So let’s take a look at her latest…

Never say never to falling in love…


Val didn’t expect to be starting again in her seventies, but when life gives her lemons, Val is determined to make lemonade.


Settled into her new home – a picture-perfect fisherman’s cottage in the small Cornish seaside town of Lowenstowe – Val is ready to start a new chapter. And with her son due to get married next Christmas, there’s also the little job of finding herself a plus-one to help her face her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.


With the support of her neighbour Connie, and after decades of married life, Val takes the plunge back into the world of dating with trepidation and excitement. But can she remember how the single life works, let alone what her type is? There seem to be plenty of Mr Maybes, but no sign of Mr Right.


As the year passes, and as friendships and community life flourish, Val begins to blossom. And as Christmas approach, she might just decide she doesn’t need that plus-one after all – although never say never…


Judy Leigh is back with her trademark promise of laughter, love and friendship. The perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee Macdonald and Cathy Hopkins.

Judy Leigh really does write the most wonderful characters. I felt for Val from the book’s opening pages when her Christmas dinner was ruined by discovering her husband’s affair – and cheered her on every single step of the way as she moved to her new home, in her seventies and not used to being alone, and set about making a new life for herself. She discovers that she doesn’t need a man to make her complete, and fills her life with friends and a whole range of activities – but there is the pressing problem of the need to find a plus-one to take to her son’s wedding at the end of the year. With the enthusiastic support of her new friend Connie (also a great older character, with a particular poignancy to her own situation), Val crosses paths with quite a few Mr Maybes over the course of the year – some with considerably more promise than others.

But while the search for a companion might drive the timeline, and it certainly sees Val distinctly out of her comfort zone a number of times, it wasn’t the main thing I enjoyed about this book – what I really loved was the friendships she found. This book is filled to overflowing with a range of perfectly drawn individuals who make up a true community who embrace her and take her to their hearts, helping her find her way and picking her up when she stumbles. Her immediate neighbours are just superb – on one side there’s Alice and Kev, their over-indulged dog Dolly the one who really rules the roost, and on the other side the elusive and invisible Ben, their absence of contact no obstacle to the acts of kindness that flow between them. Another key character is elderly (perhaps that should be “even more elderly”…) eco-warrior Loveday, fierce in her defence of what she believes in, rallying the whole community, but disturbingly reticent about her home life. And there are so many more – I particularly liked Val’s friendship with young Ollie who shares his sage and considered relationship advice.

The Cornish seaside town of Lowenstowe is particularly vividly drawn, and I really felt entirely at home there – if you’re looking for somewhere to start again, I don’t think you could possibly find anywhere much better. There’s such a tremendous warmth and strong feel of community about this whole book, sweeping you up and making you feel that anything’s possible – and it really is a quite wonderful character-driven story that kept me entirely involved throughout, gloriously entangled in everyone’s lives while following their separate stories. And there are so many perfect emotional touches and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Val discovers how brave she can be and makes her journey towards contented independence. If I’m absolutely honest, the only thing I wasn’t quite so sure about was the book’s ending – although it’s entirely appropriate and very well done, 100% feel-good and didn’t detract one iota from my enjoyment, I must confess that I was almost disappointed (and I know this probably tells you rather more about me than the book… see what you think!).

Every book I read from Judy Leigh becomes my new favourite, and this one is no exception – I totally loved it, and recommend it really highly.

About the author

Judy Leigh is the bestselling author of Five French HensA Grand Old Time and The Age of Misadventure, and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

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