Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

Written to best relate to the 60+ reader, this story can serve to give younger readers food for thought with all of the questions about love and relationships that Hilary Boyd poses with her character Jeanie.  Thirty years married to her husband George, their lack of intimacy is a subject not touched upon: instead Jeanie fills her life with children, friends and grandchildren, and her weekly outing to the park on Thursdays.

The regular weekly outing is mirrored by Ray and his grandson, and the two take steps as they  get to know one another.  Where George is close mouthed and ignores her, Ray listens, is charming and appears to be in touch with his emotions.   Jeanie finds herself examining her life: was the right one the one she had built a life and family with, or the one who made her feel wanted, desired and heard?

What emerges is a softly growing romance, with a journey of searching on Jeanie’s part: wondering just how her life might have been different, or might be if she were bolder.  Solidly comfortable with a sense of the middle class white picket fence families, this story resonates with readers of all ages.  Familiar refrains of thoughts of ‘what if’ or ‘what may have been’ and beautifully wrought prose make this a comfortable and enjoyable read for a quiet afternoon.

Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

Title: Thursdays in the Park
Author: Hilary Boyd
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Quercus
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 352
Rated: four-stars
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In this touching, romantic tale of new attraction and old loyalties, Jeanie is on the brink of turning sixty, and the man she's been married to for more than half of her life has abandoned the marital bed.

When Jeanie’s husband George retreats from his conjugal duties, she is deeply hurt and very confused: Has she done something wrong? Is he in love with someone else? Her pained bewilderment turns to anger as he remains unable, or unwilling, to provide answers.

The bright spot of Jeanie’s week is Thursday, the day she takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray—age-appropriate, kind-hearted, easygoing, and downright sexy. In short, he is everything that George is not.

As her relationship with Ray begins to blossom and she begins to think that her life might hold in store a bold second act, she begins to wonder if she has the courage to take a step off the precipice of routine and duty and into the swirling winds of romance.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Hilary Boyd

Hilary Boyd grew up in London. Educated at Roedean, an all-girls boarding school in Sussex, she went on to become a nurse and marriage counselor. In her 30s, she went back to school to earn a degree in English Literature from London University. After graduating, she became a health journalist, writing a Mind, Body, Spirit column for the Daily Express. She has published six non-fiction books on health-related subjects such as depression, step-parenting, and pregnancy. She has been writing novels in her spare time for 20 years. Thursdays in the Park is the first to be published. Her second novel, Tangled Lives, was released in the UK in early 2013, and she is working on her third, Straight To The Heart, about a middle-aged nurse who falls in love with a mountaineer. Hilary is married to film director and producer Don Boyd (Aria, Scum and War Requiem). She has three daughters and lives in London.