Review: Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior


Title: Away With the Penguins

Author: Hazel Prior

Published: March 19th Bantam Press

Status: Read March 2020 courtesy Bantam/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

Away With the Penguins is a charming tale of family, second chances, and well…penguins, from Hazel Prior.

“I must try to do something before it’s too late. Not just something with my money but something with my life, whatever dregs are left of it.”

Veronica McCreedy is a brusque, eccentric, and wealthy old woman who lives alone in a large house on the south west coast of Scotland, with only her ‘daily’, Eileen, and a part-time gardener for company. One evening her favourite television programme is replaced with a documentary about penguins, and inspired, Veronica makes an extraordinary decision that will change her life.

The story primarily unfolds from the point of view of Veronica, and her estranged grandson Patrick. Prior’s character development is skilful crafted, initially neither of the protagonists are particularly likeable, but as their pasts are revealed, and the story progresses, they become much more appealing characters.

Veronica’s adventures in Antarctica are delightful and poignant. The scientific team of Locket Island are rather horrified to have an octogenarian in their midst, but Veronica is unconcerned, and is determined to rise to the challenge, handbag on her arm.

Patrick is a bit of a loser, essentially unemployed and recently single, his first (second and third) contact with ‘Granny V’ does not go well, but he eventually redeems himself.

Unsurprising, Away With the Penguins includes strong messages about environmental issues, such as pollution, wildlife conversation and climate change, and of course, the importance of penguin research. I delighted in learning more about penguins, and the Adelie penguins in particular. Pip, the penguin chick that Veronica adopts, is an adorable element of the story.

An entertaining and uplifting story, Away With the Penguins is a lovely read, I finished the last page with a smile on my face, and hope in my heart.


Available from Bantam Press

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

Read an Excerpt

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Mar 15, 2020 @ 07:48:13

    I really liked her book Ellie and the Harpmaker, so seeing how you enjoyed this one I have put it into my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Athira
    Mar 15, 2020 @ 09:56:14

    This book sounds pretty unique and just from the cover and title, I would be very unsure what to make of this book, but it has my attention. Sounds like this is a worthy read.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Claire Louisa
    Mar 15, 2020 @ 10:03:13

    This sounds good, maybe one I can keep in mind for the environmental square for book bingo.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. 1girl2manybooks
    Mar 15, 2020 @ 10:29:43

    I rather love penguins and anything with Antarctica catches my attention so I think I’ll keep an eye out for this one, maybe from my library.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Meggy | Chocolate'n'Waffles
    Mar 15, 2020 @ 18:35:16

    What a lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Tina
    Mar 16, 2020 @ 00:16:58

    Great review, I’d like to get that book now. As I am in self isolation I have lots of time to Read!
    Working on a nonfiction post to link to you soon. Sucks not having internet at home 😦



  7. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Mar 16, 2020 @ 13:14:52

    Uplit + penguins… sounds like just the type of book we need to raise our mood right now — another one for my wish list. Thanks Shelleyrae!

    Liked by 1 person


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