So I just read The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell and…

(I got this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Pub Date 7 Jan 2021.)

I did like this book but it wasn’t a 5 star read for me. I was looking at the reviews on Goodread and a lot of the 5 star reviews are from people who have read Joanna Nell’s books before and I honestly think I didn’t like it because this just isn’t the kind of book I would like to read. I thought it would be but maybe not and that’s ok, every book isn’t for every person. In this review I want to talk about my opinions of the book as well as how it’s written. But first! What’s it about? 

At nearly ninety, retired nature writer Hattie Bloom prefers the company of birds to people, but when a fall lands her in a nursing home she struggles to cope with the loss of independence and privacy. From the confines of her ‘room with a view’ of the carpark, she dreams of escape. Fellow ‘inmate’, the gregarious, would-be comedian Walter Clements also plans on returning home as soon as he is fit and able to take charge of his mobility scooter. When Hattie and Walter officially meet at The Night Owls, a clandestine club run by Sister Bronwyn and her dog, Queenie, they seem at odds. But when Sister Bronwyn is dismissed over her unconventional approach to aged care, they must join forces — and very slowly an unlikely, unexpected friendship begins to grow.

Honestly there’s no bad things about this book, it’s beautifully well written and the characters are so interesting. My grandma was moved into a nursing home after she became unable to look after herself so I found it extremely sad to hear Hattie and Walter talk about the nursing home as a prison. 

 Other than the setting there are a lot of other sad moments, especially after they escape. There was one moment with the cottage that broke my heart so much, I just wanted to give everyone a hug. But that being said for every sad moment there were 20 laugh out loud moments. Walter was just so funny, I’ve always loved a dad joke. 

The story itself was so interesting and I was really invested in this. Everything with Sister Bronwyn and Sister Who was really good and the subplots were as high of a standard as the main plot. I think this is sometimes really hard to do but Nell does such a good job. 

Anyway. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to but I think if you like Nell’s work or if you’re interested in this kind of book then I think you should totally read this when it comes out. Or even if you want an introduction to some adult contemporary this is a good introduction. 


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