Book Review: The Mercury Travel Club, by Helen Bridgett #TheMercuryTravelClub #BlogTour

I’m so excited to be joining The Mercury Travel Club Blog Tour today! Thanks for stopping by 😀

Publisher: RedDoor Publishing

Publication date:  16th March 2017

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Firstly, that gorgeous cover is an invitation to abandon everything else in your life and dive right in, isn’t it?! 🍹

At fifty-three years old Angela (Hargreaves) Shepherd is adjusting to life as a divorcee. The outlook is so overcast that even a meteorologist would have a hard time fathoming what happens next. Still, she does do her best to look on the bright side even though her daughter is still coming to terms with the ‘other woman’ in their lives, as is her rebellious, larger-than-life friend, Patty. Come to think of it Angela hasn’t quite got to grips with the gravity of the situation either.

It was uncomfortable to see her shuffling into a new position as her family unit is rearranged, so I was grateful to the animated widow Patty for encouraging her oldest friend to step out of the shadows by applying a firm, well-meaning shove. Instead of floundering in self-pity, sitting in her little rented house alone, swaddled in cardigans and playing skittles with the vino empties, Angelia can embrace the opportunity to paint a different scene on the now blank canvass that is the rest of her life.

Modest social engagements (except for the odd, cringe-worthy karaoke sensation) spark some unlikely friendships, as well as new ideas for short breaks to revive bookings for the humble travel agency she works for – aaaand behold – The Mercury Travel Club is born!

How terrific to watch Angela embark on her self-made destiny as she scales life’s stumbling blocks. But no tailored vacation remains unchallenged, as a calamitous streak follows her sterling efforts – it’s a miracle she returns from her travels unscathed! As themed weekends take on a mutinous life of their own via a series of impromptu interruptions, this part-time travel shop sales assistant sees her big ideas multiply and offer their own ‘unique’ rewards.

Life’s little downpours are chased away by sunny nuances throughout. I especially liked the mysterious and endearing arrival of a gnome, and other gardening curiosities, leaving Angela wondering who is behind the sentimental helper. Seeing the people at the centre of her world breaking out of their own cocoons was inspiring too.

I’m delighted to have hopped on board this gentle-paced journey to follow the personal itinerary of our narrator, courtesy of The Mercury Travel Club. An array of unscheduled stops en route allow her to rediscover the little things that truly matter to reinforce that somehow, someway, life can reflect a contented symmetry once more.  

Lighthearted, entertaining, and a genuinely lovely read.

Rating:    4/5

(I received an advanced paperback copy of this title from the publisher, and it is my pleasure to provide this unbiased review.)

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(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘Hi, I’m Angela. My husband ran off with the caterer we hired for our daughter’s graduation party. Pleased to meet you.’

Meet Angie Shepherd who, after 24 years and 11 months of marriage, finds herself divorced and driven by friends and family to move on. From hangover to makeover, Angie steps firmly away from the sensible knitwear, and launches into every adventure on offer from baking classes and book groups, to speed dating, and even ‘The Granny-Okes’, a 1980’s tribute act and YouTube sensation.

But Angie needs more than a bar of galaxy and a night in with Murder She Wrote… what she dreams of is entrepreneurial success. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, the light bulb moment happens: it’s time to take the plunge and invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, an exciting new business venture. But as the Travel Club gets going, things don’t go according to plan, and in this digital age a little chaos brings the fame she s been looking for.

Set in present-day Manchester, this classic mid-life journey features the 1980’s soundtrack from Angie’s youth, and sees her travel the world whilst coping with life after the Ex. Angie’s journey is the catalyst her friends need to examine their own lives; as they start to find their true callings, will Angie find hers? Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good debut novel shows it s never too late for a second chance.

BUY THE BOOK

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(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Helen Bridgett was born in the North-East and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Following a career in Marketing, Helen took an MA in TV and Radio Script-writing and created short films before writing her first novel. She loves nothing more than a glass of wine and witty banter with friends; her love of dialogue feeds into her work and has given her the perfect excuse to eavesdrop on conversations. Helen lives with her husband and their chocolate Labrador, Angus; all three can often be found wandering the Cumbrian hills or in country pubs.

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THANK YOU FOR TRAVELLING WITH THE MERCURY TRAVEL CLUB. WE HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED TODAY’S STOP  🎵 🎤 🎶

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