When 82-year-old Lil decides to book herself, her 65-year-old daughter, Cassie, and her friend Maggie on a bus trip across Europe, she hopes for a little adventure to counteract the monotony of life in sheltered accommodation.
Along with three members of the Salterley Tennis Club and the Jolly Weaver five-a side football team, whose ideas of a good time are rather different to Lil’s and strikingly at odds with each other’s, the merry band of travelers set out on their great adventure.
From moving moments on the beaches of Normandy, outrageous adventures in Amsterdam, to the beauty of Bruges and gastronomic delights of France, the holiday is just the tonic Lil, Maggie and Cassie needed.
And as the time approaches for them to head home, Lil makes an unexpected discovery – even in her advancing years, men are like buses – there isn’t one for ages then two come along at once. Is Lil ready to share her golden years, and can the ladies embrace the fresh starts that the trip has given them. Or is it just too late to change…
When 82 year old Lil decides that she needs a holiday, she takes her daughter Cassie and her best friend Maggie along for the ride. Along with a variety of different people, they embark on a mini bus tour of Europe and soon discover that it’s never too late to live and love.
This book, to begin with, was a bit of a slow burner. As there are a few people going on the holiday, it meant that quite a few characters needed to be introduced early on. However, once they actually got going on the holiday, I couldn’t put the book down.
Told mainly from the point of view of Lil and Cassie, it covers their holiday across France, Belgium and Amsterdam with many hilarious, poignant and wonderful moments along the way.
It was interesting to see how all the different personalities interacted, especially as they were all travelling in quite close proximity and were a variety of ages.
Lil is a feisty, strong brilliant woman but her life made me a little sad especially as she couldn’t have the man that she loved. However, she has her daughter and that, at least to begin with, has always been enough for her.
Cassie is as strong as her mother. She’s not how you’d expect women of her age to be and i loved how she went against the stereotype. She’s bold, she writes, she sings and she’s confident and I adored this about her. She’s proof that age is but a number and she felt very realistic.
Maggie is the shy character of the group. She’s not overly appreciated by her husband and I found it nice to follow her journey and development throughout the book.
For the most part, I loved all the supporting characters although I wasn’t a huge fan of one of the men. Read it and you can probably figure out who.
The writing style and setting meant that I could picture myself taking this holiday with this group of people and the overall joy they get from it jumps from the page. The places they visited were described well (although some of the places I have visited in person so it was a little easier to imagine,) and I could feel the emotions felt by the characters as they visited various countries, cities and landmarks. I could imagine myself standing there with them.
I am not going to say anymore. If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know that I don’t like to give too much away.
Overall, this novel would make a lovely holiday companion (if you’re managing to have one) or will make you feel like you’re on holiday if you’re staying closer to home.
Lil’s Bus Trip is an endearing, warm, gentle novel about rediscovering life and allowing yourself to enjoy it. I really hope that, at some point, we see these characters again. I loved sharing this adventure with them.
About Judy Leigh:
She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.
Lil’s Bus Trip was released by Boldwood Books on 26th August 2021. Click to buy on Amazon UK.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.