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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby is a work of fiction and interpersonal drama by first-time novelist Julie Thorndyke. Set in an initially tranquil retirement village in Australia, we first meet the titular character in her neat little life with her cat, Missy, and her flowers and her music. But when Eileen Rickaby’s friend Irene brings home a younger man, whom she says will be her new husband, trouble begins. As the village falls victim to strange happenings, thefts and moments of violence, Eileen sets out to protect her friend and neighbor by any means she can think of. What follows is a light and entertaining drama with much to say about friendship and the journey of getting older.
This compact and delightful first novel would make an excellent holiday read for anyone seeking tranquillity, quirky characters, and true entertainment value in their dramas. Author Julie Thorndyke puts her previous experience with poetry to use in this debut novel, which is filled with skilled wordplay and gorgeous imagery right from the start. The dedication to character in the development of Eileen makes her feel like a real character you could go and visit in her home, with every detail laid out and fully thought through. This attention to detail extends out into a quintessentially Australian supporting cast and village location, bringing all kinds of authenticity and amusement to the plot as it unfolds. Overall, Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby is a fully emotive yet light and enjoyable novel, with beautiful construction and a poignant feeling to its conclusion.