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Thursdays in the Park Paperback – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Jeanie Lawson runs a modestly successful health food store in London and has been married for more than 30 years. Her husband, George, is looking forward to retiring to the country, but as Jeanie turns 60, she’s not quite ready to be put out to pasture. Plus, moving to the country would mean less time with her granddaughter, Ellie, whom she takes to the park once a week while Ellie’s difficult artist father prepares for an exhibition. On those Thursdays in the park, she meets Ray, who is there with his grandson, Dylan. After the first few awkward meetings, Jeanie and Ray begin to form a connection beyond their grandchildren. As her marriage crumbles under George’s determination to sell Jeanie’s shop and move—and his failure to stiff-upper-lip away past trauma—Jeanie is far too tempted by Ray. This first novel is heartfelt without being angst-ridden and full of likable characters (even the unlikable ones warm up), and readers of women’s fiction will relate to Jeanie. A warm, tender novel about a woman finally finding a place of her own. --Susan Maguire


"A must read."―AARP

"[A]... tender and intriguing love story.... Boyd is as canny as Joanna Trollope at observing family life and better than Trollope at jokes."―The Daily Mail

"Puts the â??sex' back into â??sexagenarian."―The Times

"Beautifully written . . .The characters are like your sister or best friend. You can relate to them and feel everything just like you are right there in the story. . . (Hilary Boyd) completely wraps you in. This book is a must read for women of any age."―Two Classy Chics

"A warm and well-written case for love affairs in later life."―Daily Telegraph

"A sincere tale of late-in-life love.... Boyd's delicate rendering of Jeanie's interior grounds the novel, and readers will root for her to finally get her own.... A poignant love story featuring refreshing characters in their 60s."―Kirkus Reviews

"A poignant portrait of a stale marriage and the ties that bind couples together."―Chicklit Club

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623650968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623650964
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
With its floral pattern and enticing cover Thursdays in the Park promised to be an uplifting read, but yet the backcover blurb suggested only a simplistic romance offering nothing with any real bite. However, very quickly Hilary Boyd's narrative captured my imagination and I realised that her first novel was so much more than it seemed. The concept is simple: a married woman falls in love with a handsome stranger and soon realises that her marriage is a sham. But Boyd interweaves complex issues of child abuse, depression and betrayal to captivate the reader's mind and heart.

Boyd lets you see the world through 60-year-old Jeanie's eyes and reminds you that retirement offers freedom, not the end of the line. Her portrayal of the first true romance of Jeanie's life will captivate both single and married women as her writing instantly takes you back to those moments of true passion that blocked out everything else in the world. This is a story of family responsibilities, true love and life after the big 60.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Wright on behalf of
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tonya Speelman VINE VOICE on January 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jeanie has been a loving wife to George for over thirty years, a devoted mother to their daughter and, recently, an adoring grandmother – all this despite the fact that several years ago, George withdrew from their marital bed with no reason given. At first Jeanie was determined to confront him, but days rolled into weeks, then years, and still she has no idea why it happened. Did she do something wrong? Is he in love with someone else? George won’t talk about it. Every Thursday, Jeanie takes her granddaughter to the park, and there she meets Ray, who performs the same weekly duty for his grandson. Ray seems to be everything George isn’t – a listener, easy to talk to, open-minded – and sexy. Suddenly Jeanie feels attractive again and, against her will, finds herself falling in love with him. She knows all too well that her new passion threatens everything she holds dear. She must make a choice. Family ties, dramas, secrets and lies all weave their way though this beautiful and insightful first novel written by an author who has the perfect experience to write it.

I loved this book!! I had no idea I would like it so much!! I loved Jeannie, I felt as if her family were a bunch of turds and I couldn't wait for her to get rid of them. I loved Boyd's writing and I couldn't help thinking the whole time, how could I be a reader for 38 years and never have come across anything yet of her's? I MUST change that!!! Read this book, it will be a surprise to you as to why her husband had stopped sleeping with her, but also you will think about your own life, even if everyone in your life aren't turds!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reviewer TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
As with many things in life, you are drawn to something for a variety of reasons. In the case of a book, some are drawn to it by the title, some because of an attractive cover and yet some by an enticing blurb/teaser.

I am drawn to this particular book for two reasons - the beautiful floral pattern of the cover and the title of the book. The book blurb put me off as late-in-life love story is not my-kind-of-thing. Yet, I was so taken in by the story that I found it difficult to put down. It is a tender love story that seems to hum melodious tunes.

Thursday in the Park by Hilary Boyd, published by Quercus (October 2013) takes you to the world of people in their 60s when they can still feel young enough to give a shot at love. The story reminds readers that the big 60 is not the end of life but only the gateway to freedom. The story of Jeanie's first true love at what many considers a ripe old age is certain to capture the hearts and minds of old and young readers alike.

Hilary Boyd also interweaves issues like depression, abuse, betrayal to make the story captivating. A simple narrative with an engaging storyline supplemented by adorable characters keeps one glued to the very end.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Quercus
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623650968
ISBN-13: 978-1623650964

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.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mary Josefina Cade on November 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Although this is book is top of the Kindle fiction charts on Amazon UK, I hadn't thought about reading it until it was mentioned by a journalist in her column in a national newspaper. From her comments I received the impression that this was the story of a grandmother who engaged in wild love making in the park, thereby causing general mayhem and throwing old age pension style caution into the nearest recycling bin. I immediately downloaded it. Only to discover that Jeannie, the grandmother in 'Thursdays in the park' isn't like that at all. Anyway I read the book. It was very thoughtful and deeply felt but a bit too downbeat for my taste. A good book for anyone interested in the complex entanglements of family relationships analysed in great detail. Grandmother Jeannie lacked the rebellious nature I was hoping for.
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