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The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in the Ladies of Covington Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The three widowed 60-something women who lend "golden girl" power to Medlicott's episodic debut would be very much at home in Jan Karon's Mitford. Amelia, Hannah and Grace all live in a Pennsylvania boardinghouse, unhappily confronting the insults and injuries involved in aging. When Amelia inherits a deteriorating farmhouse in Covington, N.C., the three decide to move in together, gearing up to rehabilitate both the farmhouse and their lives. Although their alternately neglectful and overprotective grown children are disgruntled at their mothers' unconventional new lifestyle, the women find the time to become themselves, enjoying a combination of companionship and independence. Between gardening, cooking and exploring photography, the spunky trio jointly weather many trials and adventures including flood, fire, a claim on their property and romance. Medlicott's penchant for detailing local sights as minutely as a tourist map, coupled with the slow-lane pace, may be too warm and cozy for those accustomed to more action, and events that are surprising to the characters may be mundane to more sophisticated readers. But Medlicott's idea is a winner: women in their twilight years finding alternatives to large group homes or living alone. Solving an all-too-common housing dilemma, the three ladies inspire by forming a community in which they thrive and find new careers and loves, all with dignity and autonomy. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Like a Grandma Moses painting, this first novel is unrealistic but exudes a good bit of charm. A sixtyish widow inherits an old farmhouse in Covington, NC, and invites two friends to move in. Readers who weather the less believable parts of the story (e.g., the farmhouse restoration is quick, painless, and carefree) are rewarded later when they come to care about the ladies. Although so dominated by their husbands in the past that they hardly know what they want or what they are capable of doing, they learn and grow together. The real world does intrude in the form of a loved one with HIV, a threat to the title of their new home, and a grandson with an alcohol problem. The women grow in self-confidence until one publishes a book, one finds love, and one runs a physically demanding business. The ending is pure fantasy, but readers will enjoy the ride. Medlicott, a senior citizen herself, has self-published three prior works.
-Carol J. Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Covington
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; 1st edition (May 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312979452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312979454
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ladies of Covington Send their Love, which is the story of three women over 65 who are redefining their lives, starting careers, and falling in love. These women--Hannah, Grace, and Amelia--offer a dynamic vision of growing older. When Amelia inherits a rundown farmhouse in rural North Carolina, the women pool their resourses and move from a dismal boarding house to the tiny hamlet of Covington. Consequently, friendships are tested, survive, and grow stronger. As each woman is confronted with possibilities, she must review the habits and limiting beliefs of a lifetime. Joan Medlicott makes no attempt to mitigate the challenges the women face as they strive to make a home together. A comforting sense of extended family comes into play as their tolerance and ability to accept one another is tested--by loneliness, anger, jealousy, joy, and satisfaction. Ultimately, the support system they provide one another is to be envied. I thank Ms. Medlicott for introducing me to these three wonderful and wise older women, all of whom I fell in love with. I look forward to reading more by this exciting author!
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Format: Hardcover
When I started reading this book, I did not realize what a treat I was getting into. It is about three elderly women living in an ugly boarding house, sort of waiting until their time is up but not interacting very much. But suddenly one of them is left a run down house and some money down south. They decide to go down to see it and decide to use that money to fix up the house and literally start new and more useful and energetic lives.... they literally come alive again. It was most heartening and not boring at all. I cannot wait for the author to write another book since this one was her first. I recommend to all women especially those of us in "the best years of our lives".
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Format: Hardcover
We always tend to think that after a certain age, you have stopped living. Not so in this book. Here you have a group of ladies who after living in a dismal "old ladies" boarding house, that they CAN start over and improve their lot. I am looking forward to the sequel. Only thing I didn't like about this book is that one of the ladies kept going off and getting lost.(She did it twice)Other than that, I enjoyed reading that.
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Format: Hardcover
It's The Golden Girls without Sophia...it's Rosamund Pilcher by way of Miss Read. If you love the close bond shared by TVs Golden Girls, and you love the stories and daily-life details by Pilcher and Miss Read that sweep you up in their fascinating stories, then you'll love The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love. Relaxing, fun, and NICE to read. Loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, although I was frustrated enough to toss it several times. WHERE WAS THE EDITOR? When you pay $25 for a hardback book, you expect the author to know: that Tom and Jerry are cartoon characters, Ben and Jerry make ice cream (really, see for yourself at the end of chapter 7), the difference between role and roll when talking about film (she uses role)... I could go on and on. I hope these mistakes will be fixed before the paperback because they really take attention away from an otherwise good book. It's about three women in their "senior" years who, united at a less-than-pleasant boarding house, take an opportunity to renovate and move into a home in Covington, North Carolina. Together, they face demons that have been following them. One is afraid to face her fears and learns to have confidence in herself. One believes herself to be plain and simple and finds love, and one finds passion in the simple things, like growing fruits and vegetables. It's an inspiring story about three women at an age when they're expected to knit and "grow old gracefully" learning new lessons about life and themselves.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The three ladies in this story share a dislike of a controlling landlady, so when one inherits a property in Covington, they pool their resources, renovate the property and move in to build a new life. Each lady has a distinct personality and set of worrying problems to work through with or without the help of the others.
On one level, that of entertainment, the book rates higher than 3 stars. But I lost interest in it about halfway through -- I did read the whole thing -- because it was too predictable and the characters lost credibility.
It's a rare book today where women don't express their independence by going along with society's contemporary views of morality. These women do exactly that -- and much too easily for women of their time and place. I wondered if this is really the way Medlicott wrote the book or if a lot of it wasn't changed by suggestions from a younger editor. I can just see the argument: "Modern readers won't accept..."
Don't get me wrong, now, the characters do struggle, but with the wrong problems. They agonize over trivialities. I'm of this generation of women as are most of my friends, and we're Southerners, too. This just doesn't ring true.
Joan Medlicott and Jan Karon must be America's answer to Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy. However, Pilcher's books are spectacular in their warmth and sensitivity. They celebrate independent women who unashamedly value home life and family. She seems to have found the balance that eludes the others.
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