Title: All about Ella
Author: Meredith Appleyard
Publisher: HQ Fiction, Sydney
Publication date: 2021
Genre: Adult Fiction
Reviewer: Peta Browne
After Ella is widowed at the age of 70, she moves in with her oldest son, Anthony, and his family.
Her daughter-in-law is a nightmare, but the company of her 14-year-old grandson Stefan helps alleviate the unpleasantness.
It comes to a head though, and after an argument with Anthony, Ella flees.
She ends up in Cutlers Bay where she meets 40-year-old drifter Angie and local policeman Zach.
Zach is suspicious of both Angie and Ella, not least because Anthony calls him daily to demand the return of his mother.
Angie and Ella hit it off and Ella begins to feel part of a community.
This increased feeling of belonging leads Ella to purchase, rather impulsively, a fixer upper.
The fact that she purchased a house at all, let alone one that needs significant investment, increases her children’s mission to control Ella and further fractures the family.
Her friendship with Angie, who helps Ella fix up her new house, only inflames the situation more.
All about Ella is a sweet, cosy, and very readable story which highlights both the vulnerabilities of seniors and the healing powers of the community you choose.
I loved the way that the family troubles were not overly dramatised but dealt with realistically.
I also loved the relationship between Ella and Stefan and wished they had more interactions during the story.
Further, I enjoyed the bond between Ella and Angie which was delightfully warm and genuine.
In fact, all the character development was authentic.
It drew me in to the community and made me wish I was in Cutlers Bay.
You can borrow All About Ella from Bundaberg Regional Library.
- See an earlier book review here.