Title: The Highland Hens
Author: Judy Leigh
Published on: 4 August 2022
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Eighty-eight-year-old Mimi McKinlay lives in Glen Carrick House, a Scottish mansion overlooking the famous Loch Ness. Mimi’s cared for by her three adult sons – Fin, Angus and Hamish. Fin, being the eldest of the brothers, is just like his father Donald. Angus is a hardcore nature lover while Hamish is just like Mimi, a artist who lives life to the fullest.
In spite of their differences, what the three brothers share is a concern that their beloved mother is living in her memories of her days on stage, while letting her present days pass her by.
Jess Oliver is at a turning point. Amicably divorced after years of being married, this trip to the Highlands is a first taste of independence. It isn’t long before the beauty and hospitality of Scotland captures her heart.
When Mimi and Jess’s paths cross, a friendship is formed that will change both women’s lives. And as together they find ways to look forward instead of to the past, long forgotten dreams are within reach, and every new day is fresh with possibilities.
The Highland Hens by Judy Leigh is a sweet, delightful and mesmerizing read. The star of this story is Mimi. She might be eighty-eight years old, bust she’s full of life and doesn’t pass on an opportunity to dress pretty and dance. Oh yes, one must not forget the copious amounts of wine she consumes and her love for seafood.
When Jess and Mimi’s paths cross, both women have no idea that their bond is the one that lasts forever. Mimi’s two sons have had bad marriages – Fin and Angus while Hamish is single and never married. Mimi secretly wishes to have a daughter – in the form of a daughter-in-law who gets along with her.
As the story proceeds, we see Jess – who doesn’t like musicals – encouraging Mimi to sing and dance. Jess is surrounded by three eligible bachelors. And there’s one brother she’s wary of – Angus. He’s rude and short-tempered. We readers are given subtle clues as to whom might be the best suitor for Jess – and if you go down this path and zero-in on a particular brother for Jess, you are in for disappointment. 😉
Fin and Hamish are sweet to Jess so one does wonder if Jess falls in love with one of them. How about Angus then? He’s initially rude but as months pass by, Jess realizes he’s charming in his own sweet way.
It’s not just Mimi who loves things glittery and musical. Mimi’s friend Isabella too joins in the fun – and the brothers have a hard time keeping the two elderly ladies apart. They know Isabella is sometimes, not a good influence on their mum – especially when it comes to drinking, dining and dancing – which the two ladies do overly often.
The first half of the story is slow paced – I felt the detailed introductions and scene-setting could be cut down a bit. The second half of the story is where things begin to change – for good, better or bad. The ending was unexpected – I didn’t see it coming.
If you love slow burn fiction with a dash of romance and whole lotta fun, you might want to give The Highland Hens by Judy Leigh a try.
I received an ARC from Boldwood Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.