I really want to be a member of The Invisible Women’s Club! The new novel from the author of Lost Property, Helen Paris, is such a heart warming, empowering read that I feel many women can relate to. Being a woman of a certain age, I am definitely one of these women. In fact I have recently returned from holiday with some of my oldest girlfriends (we have been friends for 30 years), where we discussed hormones (a topic we frequently talk about nowadays), as well as how we are all starting to feel invisible. Hence reading The Invisible Women’s Club has definitely had a positive impact on me – I felt invigorated and a sense of power reading this novel.
Having a sister who is a nutritionist specialising in women’s hormones, I feel I have a good understanding of how vegetables and herbs can benefit my health. Yet from reading The Invisible Women’s Club, in a lovely and sometimes comic way, I have learnt even more about the power of plants and how they can aid my hormonal wellbeing!
I really think The Invisible Women’s Club should be adapted for the screen – it would be a big hit. In my head I’m already doing the casting with Julie Walters, Imelda Staunton or Judie Dench coming to mind to play the part of Janet; and maybe Olivia Coleman, Sarah Lancashire or Siobhan Finneran as Bev. All of these actors will effectively master the juxtaposition of heart wrenching poignancy alongside the comedy that is part of these brilliant characters. And Helen Mirren or Maggie Smith will make a fantastic Glynis!
The Invisible Women’s Club is the story of Janet Pimm, a women in her 70s. If I were to meet Janet in reality I think I would deem her as prickly. Yet she is lonely, feels isolated and overlooked, thus she is extremely awkward in social situations. Her neighbour Bev (who I perceive to be in her 40s or 50s) is keen to befriend Janet, yet Janet views Bev’s persistence as charity, ‘some doddery dear in need of an outing, a lonely oldie so desperate for a bit of company.’
The only happiness Janet gets nowadays is from her allotment and her beloved plants she grows there. Tending to it daily, her allotment plot provides Janet with purpose and a sense of tender love. Yet when the council suddenly decide that the allotments must close, Janet realises she must do everything in her power to stop this. She reaches out to a contact from her past to help (and what a past Janet has!). However she doesn’t factor in Bev – as much as she tries, Janet can’t shake off the help of her meddling, hormonal neighbour.
Yet as Janet spends more time with Bev, not only does she view her neighbour differently, but she also begins to view herself differently too. As a friendship develops between these two women, they both support each other to find their voice again, with each woman refusing to be silenced.
The Invisible Women’s Club is an inspiring novel full of warmth, poignancy and comedy. I loved it and am really missing spending time with Janet and Bev since I finished reading it.
I read a lot of fiction and often feel empathy and a mixture of emotions reading novels. However I am rarely, if ever inspired to act after reading a novel. Yet The Invisible Women’s Club has inspired me into action. As well as planting loads of herbs in my garden to use in my cooking and herbal teas (I drink a lot of herbal tea), I aim to view myself and the impact I make in a more positive light, refusing to become invisible.
The Invisible Women’s Club was published on 3 August 2023. In my view it is a must read!
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to the blog tour of this fantastic, heart warming and often funny novel. To follow the blog tour, please see below.