Thursday, April 04, 2024

Blog Tour: Widows on the Wine Path by Julia Jarman

Last year I read and enjoyed Julia Jarman's book The Widow's Wine Club. Whilst she had written many many childrens books but this was her first book for adults. I really enjoyed it so I knew that I would read the next one. The premise is that a group of strangers meet and bond over the fact that they are now widows. They become known as The Muscateers.

In this book, The Muscateers are back! Zelda, Viv and Janet have continued to meet on a regular basis and support each other through times of joy, time of triumph and tribulation. Now though, they have a fourth member. 

Libby has been a widow for around a year after losing her husband of over 30 years, Jim. Her mother has dementia, she spends some of her time caring for her granddaughter, and of course there are the regular meetings of the Muscateers. One of her favourite places to meet her friends is at The Olive Tree, which features totally delicious sounding Greek food!

Whilst going to a show at a London theatre, Libby runs into an old crush who she originally met at drama school. Monty is handsome, charming and it doesn't take long for Libby to fall for his charms. Soon she is regularly travelling to London to see more shows and spending more and more time with him.

Zelda, who is also one of Libby's neighbours, is concerned, especially when the relationship starts to escalate quite quickly after a slow start. Soon Libby is missing Muscateer's catch ups, and when she goes on holiday to Greece becomes increasingly difficult to get hold of. 

Libby was undoubtedly vulnerable, and this is something that can make someone like her an easy target. And  as she starts to be separated in various ways from her friends and family, that vulnerability is exposed.

In some ways, there isn't a lot of subtlety in the characterisations, but is the kind of story that you hear about regularly in real life. I don't know if you have ever watched one of your friends meet someone who causes everyone around them to be concerned. I have, so I really related to the concerns that were being expressed by the Muscateers. It can be very difficult when you try to share your concerns and they fall on deaf ears and you have to sit back and wait until you are needed.

This is a book about a very serious subject and yet it is still surprisingly readable. I loved the friendship between the women, some of the food mentioned in the story sounded delicious and take me away to Greece!! I did find it kind of meta that the author referenced one of her own kids books in the story, but that book deals with the subject of dementia so it was relevant to the story

In the acknowledgements, the author mentions that the next book will be called Widows on the Waves. I am already down for that book!

Thanks to the publisher, author and Netgalley for this review book.

I am sharing this review with the New Release Challenge hosted at The Chocolate Lady's Book Review Blog

About the book

Widows on the Wine Path

Viv, Janet and Zelda know all about facing the wobbly first year of becoming a widow as their friendship was forged when they ran away from the same dreary support group. Forming instead the much more lively widows' wine club – The Muscateers – they welcome new member Libby with open arms.

Libby feels lost without Jim, her husband of more than thirty years, but the warmth, friendship and fun the women wrap her up in inspires her to begin to look to the future. When a solo trip to the theatre brings a blast from the past back into her life, things are looking up.

But as cravat-wearing, smooth-talking Monty Charles sweeps Libby off her feet, the women of the Muscateers smell a rat. They know only too well that the first year of widowhood is prime for making mistakes, and they’re determined to protect their friend. And as Monty soon finds out to his cost, never underestimate a Widow on the Wine Path…

Julia Jarman is back with her latest big-hearted tale of love and laughter, friendship and finding your feet. Perfect for all fans of Judy Leigh, Maddie Please and Cathy Kelly.

Purchase Link -

About the author

Julia Jarman has written over a hundred books for children, and is now turning her hand to uplifting, golden years women’s fiction. Drawing on her own experience of bereavement, female friendship and late-life dating, The Widows’ Wine Club will be published by Boldwood in June 2023.

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