Sunday 17 October 2021

☕ The Tea Ladies of St Jude's Hospital ☕ Joanna Nell ☕



The heartwarming and hilarious new novel by the author of cherished bestsellers, The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village and The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home 

The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. 

Staffed by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word and sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns. 

Stalwart Hilary has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; Joy has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria's newest recruit. She doesn't take her role as 'the intern' quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there's no doubt she brings a welcome pop of personality. 

Seventeen-year-old Chloe, the daughter of two successful surgeons, is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV. Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. 

When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it. 


 Copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review 

What a lovely tale Joanna Nell has told us with The Tea Ladies of  St Jude's Hospital.

My mother worked at a hospital for a lot of my childhood, and my sister spent a huge chunk of time int he children's ward at the same hospital,so as I was reading this story, I was picturing the cafeteria at that hospital.

And yes, I could see the Hilary, the Joy and the Chloe in the ladies that ran that cafeteria.

I enjoyed peeling back the layers of these ladies as the story progressed, and the friendships that they build. These three ladies shouldn't work, would never have met outside of the cafe environment, but they really do come together well and their friendships are true.

I also love how they come together really is fun and the way their attitudes to life shift is something we could all learn from.

This was my first Joanna Nell novel, but I will definitely be reading more in the future.





Joanna Nell was born in the UK and studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford universities. Her essays and short fiction have won multiple awards and been published in medical journals and literary anthologies. A former ship's doctor and now working as a GP, Joanna writes character-driven stories, creating older characters who are not afraid to break the rules and defy society's expectations of ageing. Her first three novels, THE SINGLE LADIES OF JACARANDA RETIREMENT VILLAGE, THE LAST VOYAGE OF MRS HENRY PARKER and THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM WOODLANDS NURSING HOME, were national bestsellers. Joanna lives on Sydney's Northern Beaches.