I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for warm and funny real life story The Marmalade Diaries by Ben Aitken. Thank you to Anne Cater and Icon Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this lovely book.
About the book:
ONE HOUSE. TWO HOUSEMATES. THREE REASONS TO WORRY: WINNIE AND BEN ARE SEPARATED BY 50 YEARS, A GULF IN CLASS, AND MAJOR DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.
When hunting for a room in London, Ben Aitken came across one for a great price in a lovely part of town. There had to be a catch. And there was. The catch was Winnie: an 85- year-old widow who doesn’t suffer fools.
Full of warmth, wit and candour, The Marmalade Diaries tells the story of an unlikely friendship during an unlikely time. Imagine an intergenerational version of Big Brother, but with only two contestants. One of the pair a grieving and inflexible former aristocrat in her mid-eighties. The other a working-class millennial snowflake. What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go right?
Out of the most inauspicious of soils – and from the author of The Gran Tour – comes a book about grief, family, friendship, loneliness, life, love, lockdown and marmalade.
About the author:
Ben Aitken was born under Thatcher, grew to 6ft then stopped, and is an Aquarius. He is the author of four books: Dear Bill Bryson, A Chip Shop in Poznan, The Gran Tour (‘Both moving and hilarious’, Spectator) and The Marmalade Diaries.
The Marmalade Diaries by Ben Aitken is a well written, charming real life story that is filled to the brim with laugh out loud moments as it tells the tale of the unlikely friendship that forms between the author and 85 year old widow, Winnie. Set during the winter lockdown of 2020, the book begins as Ben moves into Winnie’s house as her lodger. But not only does he gain a lovely room at a great price, he also finds himself sharing a house with an elderly lady at a time unlike anything either of them have ever lived through before.
Not a woman to suffer fools easily, recently widowed Winnie is still grieving the loss of her husband when her son arranges for Ben to move into her home as her lodger. Separated by 50 years and many differences of opinion, Ben and Winnie are as different as chalk from cheese, but somehow the pair strike up a friendship that will change both of their lives for the better.
Told in diary form along with snippets from Winnie’s long life, The Marmalade Diaries is a warm and humorous look at how these two very different people cope with life during lockdown. Touching on themes of family, friendship, grief, loss, loneliness and yes, marmalade itself, this is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. Winnie is a fascinating woman who I couldn’t help but fall in love with, her strength of character and sense of fun shining through with every page.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ben Aitken but it most definitely won’t be my last. A well written, warm and funny tale of life during lockdown, The Marmalade Diaries is a charming book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
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