Review: The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital by Joanna Nell

 

Title: The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital

Author: Joanne Nell

Published: 29th September 2021, Hachette Australia

Status: Read October 2021 courtesy Hachette Australia

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My Thoughts:

 

The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital is an endearing and entertaining novel from bestselling Australian author Joanna Nell.

Though the decor is tired, the menu uninspiring, and the coffee bland, The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has served the visitors and employees of St Jude’s Hospital nobly for fifty years, its profits funding a variety of projects to benefit patients. Staffed by volunteers, septuagenarian Hilary Halliday has held the position of manager for a decade and runs a tight ship, but with her personal life recently upended, her role at the cafeteria has become a life raft, which is why she is rocked to discover that management is contemplating closing the cafeteria in favour of a popular ‘whole food’ cafe franchise.

The storyline of The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital is told through three characters – Hilary; probationary volunteer Joy, with a penchant for blue eyelash falsies and bright clothing, of similar age to Hilary; and seventeen year old student Chloe Foster-Pearson, reluctantly volunteering at the behest of her surgeon mother. Each slowly reveals their private struggles as they face uncertain futures. I enjoyed the process of getting to know these well drawn characters, very different from one another, who become united by their determination to save the cafeteria.

The themes of family, friendship, change, and identity are prevalent in The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital. Nell also sensitively explores issues related to ageing, particularly for women. There is a little dig at the commercialisation of hospital care, and the Millennial folly of style over substance.

Written with warmth and humour, The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital is a charming and cheerful read.

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Available from Hachette Australia

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sandysbookaday
    Oct 20, 2021 @ 14:17:00

    I enjoy this author Shelleyrae, and I will be getting a copy. Thanks, because I somehow missed this. ❤📚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Kathryn
    Oct 20, 2021 @ 15:24:45

    I love the cover of this one. Joanna Neil I have read before and just might give this one a go, even for the cover!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Davida Chazan
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 00:11:19

    This sounds just lovely! I’ll have to look for it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. cleemckenzie
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 01:59:35

    I don’t know this author, but I’ll look into this one because it sounds like one I’d enjoy. Thanks for the introduction.

    Like

    Reply

  5. WendyW
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 03:02:01

    This sounds wonderful. Books set in hospitals are usually good as hospitals are great for gossip!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Hayley at RatherTooFondofBooks
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 04:26:29

    This sounds like such a lovely read, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Mystica
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 15:14:41

    I like the setting and also the title! thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Carole from Carole's Chatter
    Oct 22, 2021 @ 10:41:47

    Now on the wait list for this – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Oct 24, 2021 @ 21:29:36

    This does sound charming an cheerful, and i like the different perspectives through which this story is told.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #SundayPost | book'd out

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