Sunday, August 23, 2020

Review: How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

A curmudgeonly but charming old woman, her estranged grandson, and a colony of penguins proves it's never too late to be the person you want to be in this rich, heartwarming story from the acclaimed author of Ellie and the Harpmaker.

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to leave her fortune to. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she’s coming to visit—and won’t take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica's closed heart starts to open.

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about.

Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 16th 2020
 by Berkley
4/5 stars

What’s not to love about a feisty older lady with attitude? She is opinionated, has some weird fetishes but ultimately is lonely and while thinking of the future must address the past. Add in an unemployed unknown grandson, Patrick, who smokes pot it’s a great mix of entertainment.

It may sound far fetched, someone hopping on a plane heading to a desolated penguin research facility in the Antarctic- especially when one is 85 years old but sometimes you just need to suspend your disbelief and go with the flow. And it works.

As the story alternates between these two characters Veronica's past comes to light shining light on who she is and how she got there. The penguins are adorable and just add so much to the story.

How the Penguins Saved Veronica is a story of letting go of the past, no matter the pain or ones age and going forward. Of opening your heart and embracing life. It was a fun read, another new author (to me) and has me looking at penguins a little differently now.

This book was part of my 2020 reading off my shelf challenge, obtained in my June 2020 Callistocrate Box

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