Book Buzz
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About the book | Early praise | Author interview | Sample chapter | Book giveaway


Joanna Nell’s life-affirming debut is a moving, funny, heartwarming tale of love and community in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Grace and Frankie.

The pre-release buzz has been blossoming among booksellers for this uplifting book that will be universally loved by readers young and old.

Backed by a huge consumer campaign, we’re excited for readers to discover the #JacarandaLadies.

The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is published 25 September.


About the book About the feel-good book of the year

The life of 79-year-old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the décor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. Following a very minor traffic accident, things have turned frosty with her grown-up children and she is afraid they are trying to take away her independence.

The highlight of Peggy’s day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim. She dreams of inviting the handsome widower—treasurer of the Residents’ Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village—to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties.

But a chance encounter with an old school friend she hasn’t seen in five decades—the glamorous fashionista Angie Valentine—sets Peggy on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.


Check-in to the Jacaranda Retirement Village

Peggy Smart is Bridget Jones for retirees. Such a refreshing, warm and at times hilarious read’—Fiona Higgins

‘It was so refreshing to read about characters at this stage of their lives. I think that’s one of the reasons it touched my heart in the way that it did. I think this one will have real staying power in the hearts and minds of readers—Vanessa Carnevale

‘I loved it! I want to be Peggy when I’m older. A refreshing, funny, realistic and warm read’—Fiona Palmer

‘The perfect blend of funny and moving; Peggy Smart had me laughing and crying in this ultimately uplifting story’—Natasha Lester


About the author Five minutes with Joanna Nell

Joanna Nell was born in the UK and studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford universities. As a GP with a passion for women’s health and care of the elderly, Joanna is drawn to writing character-driven stories for women in their prime, creating young-at-heart characters who are not afraid to break the rules and defy society’s expectations of ageing.

I started writing The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village because …

As a doctor I’d witnessed the invisibility many older women experience when faced with society’s expectation that they live their senior years quietly. I wanted to put an older female protagonist centre stage, and to write an uplifting narrative around ageing. I’m a believer that women are entitled to feel fabulous and find love, whatever their age.

Do you relate to Peggy’s or Angie’s character?

I confess to sharing some of Peggy’s insecurities and frustrations. I can also see myself in Angie’s hedonistic quest for excitement. Like Angie, I love clothes, but don’t think I’ll be following her expensive quest for eternal youth. I’d love to have both Peggy and Angie as friends.

In three words, The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village is …

Life, love, sherry. Or, Never too late.


Sample chapter

Read an excerpt of The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village here.


Win a finished book before it hits shelves

Discover The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village before it hits shelves. Email with ‘The Jacaranda Ladies giveaway’ in the subject line to request a finished copy.

Read it and loved it? Please share your review with @HachetteAus using #JacarandaLadies




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Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

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Anthea Yang

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