Thursdays in the Park [NOOK Book]

Overview

Called "a warm and well-written case for love affairs in later life" (Daily Telegraph), Thursdays in the Park was a runaway best-seller in the united Kingdom. Boyd's debut novel is a touching, romantic tale of new attraction and old loyalties.

Jeanie is on the brink of turning sixty, and the man she's been married to for more than half of her life has suddenly abandoned the marital bed. When Jeanie's husband George retreats from his conjugal ...
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Thursdays in the Park

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Overview

Called "a warm and well-written case for love affairs in later life" (Daily Telegraph), Thursdays in the Park was a runaway best-seller in the united Kingdom. Boyd's debut novel is a touching, romantic tale of new attraction and old loyalties.

Jeanie is on the brink of turning sixty, and the man she's been married to for more than half of her life has suddenly abandoned the marital bed. When Jeanie's husband George retreats from his conjugal duties, she is deeply hurt and very confused: Has she done something wrong? Is he in love with someone else? Her pained bewilderment turns to anger as he remains unable, or unwilling, to provide answers. The bright spot of Jeanie's week is Thursday, the day she takes her granddaughter to the park. There, one day, she meets Ray--age-appropriate, kind-hearted, easygoing, and downright sexy. In short, he is everything that George is not. As her relationship with Ray begins to blossom and she begins to think that her life might hold in store a bold second act, she begins to wonder if she has the courage to take a step off the precipice of routine and duty and into the swirling winds of romance.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/01/2013
As it shot to the top of the Amazon ebook charts in Britain, Boyd's debut novel was labeled by the UK press as the start of a new genre of "granny lit." At its most basic level, this book is about a marriage and whether it can survive when the sexual attraction has died. Jeanie and George haven't had sex in ten years, and George seems to be fine with that fact. Jeanie is not. At first she was hurt and angered by George's rejection, but after a decade she's become resigned. She now runs a successful organic foods business and adores spending time with her two-year-old granddaughter at the park, where she meets Ray, who's there with his own grandson. As Jeanie and Ray get to know each other, the mutual attraction is more than obvious. But Jeanie is torn. How do you end a 30-year marriage, even one that only has residual affection left? Jeanie grapples with her feelings for Ray and with the pain that their relationship will cause. VERDICT Whether it's the start of a new genre or not, this is a mostly successful exploration of second chances and love at any age. Jeanie and Ray's romance is nicely done, but the narrative does bog down within Jeanie's indecision, which, while realistic, becomes a bit repetitive. Readers of Barbara Delinsky and Jeanne Ray will be charmed.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
From the Publisher
“[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 ‘sex’ back into ‘sexagenarian.” —The Times

"A must read." —AARP
 
“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

"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

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
A sincere tale of late-in-life love. The book, first published in 2011, was a best-seller in the U.K. The year Jeanie turns 60 marks a decade since her reliable but controlling husband, George, started sleeping in a separate room and refused to tell her why. Adrift in a marriage that is now more comfortable routine than partnership, she focuses instead on the health foods store she owns, outings with her frank friend Rita and play dates with her granddaughter Ellie, whom she takes to the park on Thursdays. It's there that Jeanie and Ellie meet Ray and his grandson Dylan. While the kids play, the adults feel an immediate connection, unlike what Jeanie has felt before. Soon, they are sharing life stories--each including the heartbreaking loss of a loved one--and enjoying a clandestine, burgeoning romance. When her husband decides, against Jeanie's firm protestations, that they will move to a house in the country and that she should retire and sell her store, the choice, to readers, will seem obvious. But how can Jeanie end 32 years of mostly happy marriage? Who would care for George? And though her daughter, Chanty, is no more supportive of Jeanie's desire to keep living and working in the city, Jeanie is loath to disrupt Chanty's (and Ellie's) life with such a thing as divorce. Even Rita, who initially encourages a full-fledged affair, citing the improvement in Jeanie's life since meeting Ray, cautions her against abandoning a stable marriage. When none of these prove reason enough to ignore potential happiness with Ray, a revelation takes the decision out of Jeanie's hands, at least for a while. A subplot involving Chanty and her surly artist husband is the least subtle of the obstacles facing Jeanie and Ray, but it adds good dramatic spice and satisfyingly prolongs the outcome. 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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623650957
  • Publisher: Quercus
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 2,222
  • File size: 573 KB

Meet the Author

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. She has published six non-fiction books on health-related subjects such as depression, step-parenting, and pregnancy. She has been writing novels in her spare time for 20 years. Thursdays in the Park is the first to be published. Her second novel, Tangled Lives, was released in the UK in early 2013, and she is working on her third, Straight To The Heart, about a middle-aged nurse who falls in love with a mountaineer. Hilary is married to film director and producer Don Boyd (Aria, Scum and War Requiem). She has three daughters and lives in London.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

George did not reply, just stood there. “I mean . . .” He spoke like a drowning man refusing rescue. “I can’t do it anymore.”

“Can’t do what? George?”

He turned away from her, picking his glasses up from the bedside table as he made for the door.
Jeanie jumped up and raced after him. “Where are you going? George? You can’t just leave me like that. Is it something I’ve done? Please . . . tell me.”
But George shook her off, barely glancing at her. “I’ll sleep in the spare room.”

I can’t do it anymore. His words haunted her as she lay alone in the crumpled bed, shocked and above all, bewildered. Their life together, twenty-two years of it now, was orderly, you might even say a little dull. They never argued, as long as Jeanie accepted George’s benign need to control her. Then tonight it felt as if she had been unwittingly perched on top of a volcano that had suddenly decided to erupt. What had got into her husband?

In the morning, George behaved as if nothing had happened.

—≡—

Jeanie stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror and looked hard at her body. She tried to imagine showing it, herself, to Ray, but the cold strip of lighting seemed to mock her. It wasn’t that her body embarrassed her. The pad of postmenopausal fat on her stomach drove her crazy but refused to budge, her small breasts were definitely bigger since the hormone shift, but she was still slim and fit. Unlike some of her friends, she’d never considered hormone replacement therapy. She thought it was a sort of vanity if you weren’t actually tormented with hot flashes,, which she hadn’t been. But would she look better now, younger, if she were taking hormones? She scrutinized her face. It was a little lined, but she had good skin; strong, slightly fierce blue eyes; and her dark auburn hair, through helped by the bottle, was shiny and well cut to her chin. No, the problem was that her sexuality seemed to have vanished. Here was a woman in the mirror who could be proud of a body, but that was all it seemed to be now—just a body.
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Reading Group Guide

Hilary Boyd’s THURSDAYS IN THE PARK chronicles the romance between two sixty-something grandparents who feel anything but old and are lonely for very different reasons. But with its theme of how to balance love, familial duty, and spousal commitment, the novel strikes a chord with people of all ages.
 
1. One of the most compelling aspects of Thursdays in the Park is its dialogue. Looking back through the novel, what is it about the dialogue that's so poignant? In what ways does it develop each character’s motivations and idiosyncrasies? Provide specific examples.

2. Discuss the specific tone and quality of Jeanie’s voice. How would you describe her personality? How does her personality help her or hinder her as she faces various hurdles throughout the book?

3. Jeanie is a woman struggling with being a grandmother in the youth-obsessed twenty-first century. What challenges does her particular position in society present to her, and how does she overcome them?

4. In what ways does Jeanie’s relationship with George affect her relationship with her daughter? And how does her relationship with Chanty inform the decisions Jeanie makes as her marriage begins to unravel?

5. What are the main themes and issues of the book, and how are they developed throughout the novel? How do the secondary characters, like Jeanie’s best friend Rita, illustrate some of these themes?

6. Is it accurate to say that love later in life is rarely discussed in today’s society? Why is it important (or not) that Boyd shines a light on this topic?

7. How does Jeanie’s relationship with her son-in-law Alex evolve over the course of the book? Does the development of this relationship parallel any of the changes in Jeanie’s marriage to George? If so, in what ways?

8. How does Thursdays in the Park compare to other contemporary romance novels? To what degree does it echo and reinforce certain narrative traditions you’ve come to expect from this genre, and in what ways does it depart from or redefine those traditions?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Written to best relate to the 60+ reader, this story can serve t

    Written to best relate to the 60+ reader, this story can serve to give younger readers food for thought with all of the questions about love and relationships that Hilary Boyd poses with her character Jeanie.  Thirty years married to her husband George, their lack of intimacy is a subject not touched upon: instead Jeanie fills her life with children, friends and grandchildren, and her weekly outing to the park on Thursdays.  




    The regular weekly outing is mirrored by Ray and his grandson, and the two take steps as they  get to know one another.  Where George is close mouthed and ignores her, Ray listens, is charming and appears to be in touch with his emotions.   Jeanie finds herself examining her life: was the right one the one she had built a life and family with, or the one who made her feel wanted, desired and heard? 




    What emerges is a softly growing romance, with a journey of searching on Jeanie’s part: wondering just how her life might have been different, or might be if she were bolder.  Solidly comfortable with a sense of the middle class white picket fence families, this story resonates with readers of all ages.  Familiar refrains of thoughts of ‘what if’ or ‘what may have been’ and beautifully wrought prose make this a comfortable and enjoyable read for a quiet afternoon. 




    I received an eBook copy from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

    17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Smarmy rationalizations for a cheating wife. Aside from that, no

    Smarmy rationalizations for a cheating wife. Aside from that, not badly written.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Loved this book!

    Loved the story line, the characters and the ending! It's so refreshing to read a book with realistic people in this age group (50+) when most romance stories are all about the 20-somethings and their rich boyfriends!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Well done

    Manipulation personafied. It is hard to realize it in long term marriages. When one does resist, they are made to think it is their fault. One person calls all the shots, therefore has all the power. Like being caught in quicksand. Before you know lt ,it is too late to do anything about it. I have seen it countless times throughout my life. Every women should read this story. Maggie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Inspiring

    What a great book. The author put it together perfectly. Very heart warming, decisions to make. You can love someone but not be in love with them. Well worth reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It's relevant in to

    I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It's relevant in today's world, where people of a certain age are not considered old or seniors and are still emotional, sexual and loving people. The relationships in this book are very easy to relate to and I also enjoyed the ending. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Yes! Finally A book to relate to

    Really got into this book. So down to earth. Can't tell you how it relates to so many women. She stood up to what her own needs and wants were. So many of us feel we have to "obey and serve" our husbands and others and, completely forget about ourselves. To have someone always call you Old Girl when you are a young 60, that deflates your self-ego, and makes you want to just scream! And to find love at that age is wonderful. We are wives, not their mothers! Are there any more books by Ms Boyd? Want to read all of them if they are as good as Thursdays in the Park. A must read for every woman! Couldn't put it down until all was read>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    I would not recommend this :(

    I thought this might be interesting in 'the human condition' way, but, was not impressed with the writing and as a result didn't finish it :(

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  • Posted April 23, 2014

    Would recommend to friends

    I liked this book a lot.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    A book about mature love.....

    Very sweet book, a little slow in spots but still a worthy read. Book has to do with "mature" love, loss, change and the effects of all these themes on a family.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    inspirational

    must read if you believe in heavenly encounters or have had such an experience, which I have.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    The perfect summer read.

    I enjoyed the English dialog.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    Only So So

    Found it a slow read and a little bit far fetched.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Oh yeah

    Bby hey

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    I think this is one of the best books that I have read in a long

    I think this is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. I like that is a couple in sixties as that is my age .Also, that it is set in London. I enjoy books that are set in London, Ireland or Scotland for a change. It reminds of Rosemunde Pltcher or Maeve .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    The story line catches your interest.

    The book was really good. reminds me of Wednesdays with Shorty, a love story of my own.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    I really liked this book.jeaniedid not try to start an affair it

    I really liked this book.jeaniedid not try to start an affair it just happens.the story was really good for a little older group of people .at times happy other times sad ,a book I really didn't want to end.it was well written and you could relate to the story.Carol

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    Thursdays in the Park

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, well done. It was an easy read, a lot of strong feelings with patient love, sadness, also respect for others feelings. Great story. A good book for a book club discussion.
    I would read more books by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    highly recommended

    loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Zach

    (Brb)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

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