After being dumped by her long-term partner Roy, fifty-year old Gloria hits an all-time low and sets out to drown herself off the Kent coast. Being a good swimmer, this is already doomed to failure. Moving on, as her friend Alison suggests, is easier said than done. Gloria often finds comfort in drink and visiting her elderly aunt, Kit.
When she is let go from her job, Gloria attempts to re-join the world of work, but when this also fails her, she resorts to taking a lodger, Phil. Inevitably, she imagines her role of landlady developing into a more intimate relationship, but this remains just another dream.
While on holiday in Majorca where Alison links up with old flame Joe, Gloria meets photographer Tony who frees her after she becomes trapped in a beach hut. Tony suggests dinner back in the UK, but as he omits to take her number, Gloria isn’t holding her breath.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
I didnt know what to expect from this book but it was better than i thought it would be. it was funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming and everything in between. An enjoyable read
I’m sure Gloria won’t be every reader’s cup of tea. She’s blunt, abrasive and someone we all know. Watching her wade through all the bad luck and poor choices, then finally coming into her own made for a quick, enjoyable read.
In The Doldrums With Gloria… Oh Gloria! Poor Gloria. She’s really in the doldrums. Nothing seems to go right for her. Written almost by way of a monologue, we listen to Gloria as she literally stumbles her way through life and every obstacle along the way. Endearing, heartwarming, heartbreaking and amusing all at once. A thoroughly good, quick read.
Gloria in Extremis is the first novel by British author, Lynne O’Sullivan. Three months since her partner of ten years, Roy Chislett left her to be with younger, slimmer, prettier Tessa Tonkins in her cottage in Smeeth, and Gloria Grey is not coping. Everyone else may say good riddance, but she still misses Roy. She’s miserable enough to top herself, but is apparently no good at that either: when hanging herself from the banister results in a broken banister and crushed phone table, she tries drowning, but is too good a swimmer. Not wanting to endure the criticism of her mother, or worry her dear, frail, old Auntie Kit, she goes to her best friend Alison, who dispenses warmth, wine, sympathy and moral support. Losing her job, though, will that be the final straw? Alison helps with a creative CV and much needed reality check: “Gloria, for God’s sake! You’re fifty years old, as you keep reminding me. Well, be proud of being fifty and all the experience that goes with it! OK, you’ve had a few knock-backs, but so bloody what? It’s time to stop making excuses for yourself. Think positive for once.” Phil the lodger helps with the financial situation, but is clearly not interested in anything more personal. Finally, as Alison’s companion in a late summer trip to Majorca, Gloria encounters Tony, retired school teacher and professional nature photographer. Their initial meeting is less than stellar, but by the time they have saved each other’s lives, they are getting on very well. Except, he leaves without getting her number…. Oh well. O’Sullivan gives Gloria a chatty narrative voice: she is self-deprecating, with essentially a heart of gold except perhaps, as she devises punishments to those who have inflicted real or imagined slights, recent and historical. It is easy to envisage some of her monologue being done as a stand-up routine by British comedienne Sarah Millican, very dry and deadpan, but hilariously funny. An entertaining and ultimately heart-warming read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Matador.