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The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home
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The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home

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At nearly ninety, retired nature writer Hattie Bloom prefers the company of birds to people, but when a fall lands her in a nursing home she struggles to cope with the loss of independence and privacy. From the confines of her 'room with a view' of the carpark, she dreams of escape. Fellow 'inmate', the gregarious, would-be comedian Walter Clements also plans on returning home as soon as he is fit and able to take charge of his mobility scooter. When Hattie and Walter officially meet at The Night Owls, a clandestine club run by Sister Bronwyn and her dog, Queenie, they seem at odds. But when Sister Bronwyn is dismissed over her unconventional approach to aged care, they must join forces - and very slowly an unlikely, unexpected friendship begins to grow.… (mais)
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The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home por Joanna Nell

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Mostrando 5 de 5
Another good read by this author, although not quite as enjoyable as The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village.

I found this novel to be less entertaining, less comical and in places a little more repetitive.

It was however a reasonable portrayal of life in an aged care facility. The characters are believable and the author has done a great job in bringing them to life. ( )
  PhillipThomas | Jan 18, 2023 |
In my U3A reading group, where I am almost the only crime fiction addict, their job, I tell them, is to interest me in reading something outside my genre. And occasionally they do.

It helped that I had already read and enjoyed another by this author.

Hattie Bloom is determined that her stay in the Woodlands Nursing Home will be short, and thinks constantly of the owls in her big tree at home. But as the local health authorities assess her home they produce a report that says there is a lot of work to be done. And Hattie becomes involved too in the life of others in the Nursing Home.

A very enjoyable novel showing a lot of empathy for those who find themselves in Hattie's predicament. ( )
  smik | Nov 21, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this story. After a fall & a heart attack, Walter & Hattie end up 'in prison' better known as Woodlands Nursing Home until they are fit enough to look after themselves again. This story plods along but is by no means boring. I loved getting to know Hattie & her vast knowledge of birds as well as her zeal for protecting the owls in her tree. Walter, oh Walter! I really sympathised with them when I learned about some of the issues elderly people face when they realise they need assistance in the twilight of their lives. How humiliating to have the most basic decisions taken out of your hands. Anyway, this book is really sweet & sometimes downright hilarious, a lovely light hearted but thought provoking read :O)
  leah152 | Jan 12, 2021 |
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is sweet, respectful and funny, and written with great heart. The characters were magnificent and the setting was perfect for the level of shenanigans that they get up to. If I ever get to go in a nursing home, I sincerely hope it is Woodlands and that the fabulous Sister Bronwyn is in charge of the nightshift. ( )
  Vividrogers | Jan 11, 2021 |
The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home is a charming novel proving you’re never too old for a fresh start from Joanna Nell.

After 89-year-old Miss (never Mrs or Ms) Hattie Bloom breaks her hip from a fall in her backyard, she is dismayed to be told she must spend four to six weeks convalescing at the Woodlands Nursing Home. A recluse, far more more comfortable with birds than people, she is desperate return to the sandstone cottage she was born in, particularly concerned for the welfare of a pair of nesting owls in a tree her new neighbours are threatening to fell. When an ill-timed escape attempt is frustrated by a traffic jam, Hattie resigns herself to the temporary encroachments on her privacy and independence, agreeing to repairs on her home that might let her leave her sooner.

Ninety-year-old Walter Clements, recovering from a car accident, is also determined to return to his suburban home sooner rather than later. To that end, the former driver instructor agrees to humour his daughter and the DON (Director of Nursing) and undertake an assessment to show he is capable of safely managing a mobility scooter. Walter is outraged when a few small mistakes, which includes running over his examiner’s foot, destroying an antique table, and knocking over newcomer, Miss Hattie Bloom, scuppers his chances.

It’s not the most auspicious start to a relationship but nevertheless a friendship slowly blossoms between Hattie and Walter, despite their oppositional temperaments. Where Hattie is reserved and aloof, Walter is loud and gregarious, they actually remind me a little of my own grandparents (and coincidentally my grandfather was also named Walter). Both are well-developed characters, depicted with authenticity and warmth. Hattie, a naturalist and author, who has spent almost her entire life alone by choice, slowly opens up as she becomes enmeshed in the fabric of Woodlands. Walter is occasionally inappropriate, a little bewildered by today’s mores, fond of a glass or three of whiskey, and an incurable optimist, though not without regrets. Though he hopes to go home, he is making the best of his time in Woodlands.

Nell draws on her experience as a GP visiting nursing homes, to provide some insight into the routines, successes and failures of institutional care. Woodlands certainly seems better than many which have made news headlines due to abuse and neglect, however it’s still an institution and as such rules and regulations often override common sense practice. This is evident when night nurse Bronwyn is fired after her aged black lab Queenie, accidentally knocks over and injures one of the residents. Bronwyn is a favourite of many of the Home’s residents, not the least because of her unofficial night time ‘club’, the Night Owls, that provides and encourages activities for the sleepless.

Hattie and Walter’s antics are delightful, though not without a hint of poignancy. They bond over their plan to have Bronwyn reinstated, assisted by Murray, another resident who has become a close friend of Walter (men are severely outnumbered in Woodlands) but is bedridden. Nell doesn’t shy away from portraying the difficult realities of ageing, and Murray’s approaching demise, and his desire to go home one last time, is treated sensitively.

The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home is a witty, charming, and heartwarming novel, recommended for the old, and not so old alike. ( )
  shelleyraec | Nov 4, 2020 |
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At nearly ninety, retired nature writer Hattie Bloom prefers the company of birds to people, but when a fall lands her in a nursing home she struggles to cope with the loss of independence and privacy. From the confines of her 'room with a view' of the carpark, she dreams of escape. Fellow 'inmate', the gregarious, would-be comedian Walter Clements also plans on returning home as soon as he is fit and able to take charge of his mobility scooter. When Hattie and Walter officially meet at The Night Owls, a clandestine club run by Sister Bronwyn and her dog, Queenie, they seem at odds. But when Sister Bronwyn is dismissed over her unconventional approach to aged care, they must join forces - and very slowly an unlikely, unexpected friendship begins to grow.

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