No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses by Virginia Ironside

Now aged sixty-five, Marie Sharp treats us to a second instalment of her diaries, pondering on the ups and downs of getting older.  Marie is rather like an elderly Bridget Jones but with more than a little Victor Meldrew thrown into the mix.  

Most of us women of a certain age will recognise something of ourselves in Marie who, despite the advancing years and creaking joints, is doing her best to live life to the full.  

Marie starts chronicling her year very much in the style of Miss Jones with a list of New Year’s resolutions such as giving up alcohol, clearing all the stuff from her house and taking up painting again.  Sounds familiar?  Well at least she is not one of these silver haired adventurers that is going to travel the world as she decides it’s best to stay at home and spend the money on a face-lift. 

That said, Marie is not complaining about her life.  She has an interesting and amusing group of friends, a cat called Pouncer, the perfect relationship with Archie and a grandson that she adores.  

But, in common with most of us, Marie finds that nothing stays the same for long.  Her diary takes us through a roller-coaster of a year in which she faces love and death, laughter and tears as she deals with the issues of her beloved Archie succumbing to Dementia, her family moving on and a battle with property developers.  

As a journalist Virginia Ironside often writes about the joys of getting older, grandchildren and facelifts and one senses a certain amount of her own feelings and experiences in the book.  She writes with great sympathy as Marie faces inevitable disappointments and she allows her wisdom and experience shine through.  It’s also written with humour and irreverence and is packed with observations that have you chuckling and nodding in agreement.  By the time you get to the end of Marie’s year you almost feel like she is an old friend that always has a bottle of wine in the fridge ready to share. 

No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses is published by Quercus (RRP £14.99)