The Big Five O by Jane Wenham-Jones

Release Date - July 2019

Nearing 50 years myself, I expected to connect to the women in The Big Five O. The truth is I never did. Of all of them, Roz is the only one I found myself remotely interested in. Even then, I never felt compelled to read the novel in one sitting. That's why it's taken so long.

Four friends are all closing in on their 50 birthdays. They decide, some more enthusiastically than others, to celebrate together and hold a blow-out party in the middle of the summer.

There's Charlotte, an estate agent and empty nester who is finding it hard to let go of her kids, and she's more than a little suspicious about her husband's comings and goings.

Fay runs her own removal business and spends some evenings with her boy toy by her side.

Roz, a gallery assistant, is a struggling single mom who doesn't have the heart to tell everyone that she can't afford her bills let alone a party. When Roz comes up with a way to pay her bills, she doesn't dare reveal the lucrative position she's landed.

Finally, there is Sherie, the youngest of the bunch by a few months, who works as an art consultant and only has room in her life for one man - her cat.

As the women struggle to keep their secrets hidden while working together on the party, no one knows what may happen next. One of them has the biggest secret of all that will impact them all.

I did really have a hard time with this book. Halfway through the book, I still hadn't laughed. I hadn't found myself bonding with any of the characters. I also struggled to keep reading. The narrative had a decent flow, but it wasn't compelling enough to keep my interest. I love the snarky tone and humor most British chick lit and women's fiction novels impart. I missed that here.


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