Published: Harlequin – Australia
Date: 1st September 2021
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
At 70, Ella’s world is upended, leaving her at odds with her three adult children, whose attention is fixed more firmly on her money than her ongoing welfare. After an argument with her son Anthony, she flees his Adelaide home for Cutlers Bay, a seaside town on the Yorke Peninsula. There she befriends Angie, a 40-year-old drifter, and becomes an irritant to local cop Zach. He’s keen to shift Ella off his turf, because Anthony phones daily, demanding his mother be sent home. And besides, Zach just doesn’t trust Angie.
Ella warms to Cutlers Bay, and it warms to her. In a defiant act of self-determination, she buys an entirely unsuitable house on the outskirts of town, and Angie agrees to help make it habitable. Zach is drawn to the house on the clifftop, and finds himself revising his earlier opinions of Ella, and Angie.
All About Ella was a lovely surprise of a read. Right from the start I was on team Ella. She’d gone through a really hard time, nursing her dying husband, having the family house sold from under her and then hustled to live with her son and daughter in law.
Ella is very realistic and in lots of ways, ordinary. But she is so likeable and I was wishing for her the very best. It was a delight to see her finding her feet and then standing firmly on them.
I loved the sound of the old house she lives in and the Australian small town feel. The house had not been lived in and felt really unsuitable but it made Ella’s heart sing and through many ups and downs she achieved so much.
Angie adds to the story with her wandering, unsettled heart. She has had a difficult family upbringing which is at the root of her wandering. The relationship that builds between Ella and Angie warmed my heart. As well Ella has a great relationship with her grandson Stefan, another element I enjoyed.
The local community is rich in ordinary warm hearted people going about their lives, doing their best and looking out for each other.
The book makes us examine what we value when it comes to allowing older people to make their own choices and live their lives as they see fit, and that families don’t need to step in unless its in the really best interests of the elder. Purpose and meaning in life is important at any age.
A delightful winner of a book and my word the cover is perfect.