Away with the Penguins Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brought to you by Penguin.
Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime....
Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.
Although these days, Veronica is rarely seen by anyone, because at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.
She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).
Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway.... And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.
But today...today, Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 26 minutes|
|Narrator||Ayoola Smart, Nigel Pilkington, Nicolette McKenzie|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||05 March 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 26,325 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
131 in World War II Historical Fiction
188 in Small Town & Rural Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
314 in Humourous Fiction
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Top reviews from Australia
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This was the point at which the story switched from being enjoyable to being thoroughly entertaining and engaging. We alternate between Veronica's excursion to visit the penguins, depositing herself into the lives of the three horrified resident scientists on the island, and Patrick's humdrum, unfulfilling existence in Bolton as he tries to recover from his girlfriend suddenly leaving him for another man. Much of Veronica's back story is given to us through the journals she wrote as a teenager in war-torn Britain and which she gave to Patrick to read.
This is without doubt the sweetest, most charming book I have read this year. It has made me cry and it has made me laugh out loud. And now that I've finished it, even though it concluded perfectly, I am feeling a little bereft because I want to know more about what the future holds for Veronica, Patrick, the scientists and, of course, Pip the penguin!
My one criticism is that the final scene is completely superfluous. It doesn't detract from the story, but it does distract without adding anything.
I have to confess that I had to be so strong and stop crying every time I reached those unexpected and unavoidable moments that resolved in sad events which affected the character of those ones involved. I indeed accepted quite happily those moments that drew on my face a smile and some jiggles too.
Now I know that there is always going to be a book to be discovered and that will refresh my life.
Veronica McCreedy is a crotchety 85 year old woman, living alone in a mansion by the sea. She has Eileen as her housekeeper and assistant but she mostly keeps to herself. She sees a program about penguins on tv and becomes obsessed. She decides she is going to Antarctica to see the penguins and will bequeath her money to their cause when she dies. Even though she's been told they can't accommodate her there and that it won't be safe.
It's a really lovely story about Veronica finding joy in her life after many years of being alone. She's a frustrating character at times but she really changes with this trip and changes the few people around her at the same time. Not to mention we get to learn a lot about the penguins.
I give this a solid 4 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters in Hazel Prior's book are mostly two-dimensional cameos or stereotypes. She can't write from a man's point of view - Patrick's inner dialogue is just cringeworthy. Veronica explains her outlook on life by way of the things that were thrust upon her, and it does make sense of her 'journey' through life - but it's just not appealingly written. As for her trip to the Antarctic - it stretches credulity beyond reasonable limits. First off, I'm pretty sure there is no way she could book her own passage and just turn up at an Antarctic research station. Also, there is so much anthropomorphising (??? do I have enough syllables in that?) of the penguins, generally, and of Pip/Patrick the penguin specifically, that any naturalist must prefer to poke out their own eyes rather than read it. Veronica nearly dies but the three overworked research scientists manage to pull her through, with no medical intervention other than emptying her chamber pot (though how she uses a chamber pot when she's semi-conscious for days, I do not know...).
Ugh, it's making me mad just writing about it. I read so many good reviews, I was really looking forward to a light-hearted story about a woman's lifetime, with a bit of an angle to it. Instead I got a poor man's David Nicholls (and believe me, I think he writes some tosh at times) dressed up in a big coat with a gaudy designer handbag. Pleeeeeeease put it down and read something else instead.
December 2020 : Away with the Penguins – Hazel Prior
My friend and I decided to read a book that we could have a chat with on a video call, during this second lockdown. We selected Away with the Penguins from Richard & Judy’s book club reviews, and were not disappointed.
Now and again, you read a book that you know will stay with you forever; this is how I felt having read Away with the Penguins.
I found the book a real page turner and by Chapter 10 I’d fallen in love with Veronica; eccentric, generous, and an environmental enthusiast. On an emotional rollercoaster throughout the book, it is funny and so very sad, whilst constantly thought provoking, recognising myself in Veronica, as both a young girl and an adult.
A clever use of literature funnels the introduction of strong characters, whilst simultaneously expanding on their individual personalities, to illustrate environmental and animal welfare issues. An excellent example showing how actions result in consequences, good and bad, and how those consequences may affect others. Any doubts? Just buy it and start reading!
I enjoyed reading Hazel's first book 'Ellie and the Harp Maker ' and would recommend reading it also as Hazel is such a wonderful story teller and I look forward to yet more wonderful books in the future.
It's not, it fees too hard to be whimsical and emotional
It's just awful, the characters are so cliche and as for the setting?!
If you want a gentle romance then it's ok, but it's not moving or thought provoking.