Adrian Mole grew up, Bridget Jones left her singleton status behind, and we’ve all reached the Age of Reason. Or so they tell us.
Now we have a new heroine to give voice to the trials, tribulations and unexpected absurdities of middle age in the person of Cynthia Hartworth, suburban Surrey housewife suddenly set adrift in an unfamiliar world by the wholly unforeseen (at least to her).
In her debut novel, “Dear Beneficiary”, Janet Kelly takes us on an unexpected adventure with Cynthia after she becomes a widow at 60 when her impeccably dull husband Colin suddenly drops dead, and she tries to expand her horizons beyond Waitrose and the Bridge Club. It’s a romp that sees oh-so-proper Cynthia dive into the unfamiliar waters of the internet, explore aspects of her womanhood she’d never known existed, travel beyond middle class respectability, get up close and personal with the kind of people she would previously have crossed the road to avoid, and become the unwilling owner of a foul-mouthed fowl.
One thing’s for sure, it changes the way she sees the Home Counties forever.
Kelly hilariously tells her tale of innocence overcome and boredom beaten, with more than a few bumps along the way. In Cynthia, she has created a character we all know or can identify with, and her journey takes us where many might imagine but few actually go.
A great read which had me laughing out loud at times, I hope “Dear Beneficiary” is the first of many more to come from the talented keyboard of the sassy Ms Kelly.
If you don’t believe me, see for yourself. It’s available for download as an e-book now at