Hubble Bubble - Christina Jones
Mitzi Blessing is on the scrapheap at 55: a lifetime of organising the church flower rota and making cricket teas seems to loom gloomily ahead of her....
3 reviews from the community
Review of "Hubble Bubble - Christina Jones"
Ciao - is it so very hard to respond to emails? Requested payment in July but they said they didn't receive request. I sent them a screenprint as proof - now they don't respond! Pah!!
Since I discovered Christina Jones earlier this year, I have gone on to read every single one of her books - including the last one (Heaven Sent) which is not due out in paperback until November, but I couldn't wait so ordered the hardback edition from Amazon.There's a particular theme in all Ms Jones' books, and that is village life. Actually, make that quirky village life with some eccentric and endearing characters who pop up time and again in each successive book. This doesn't mean that you have to read the books in order because each story can be enjoyed as a stand-alone read but it does mean cries of "Oh, goody!" when you meet up with a favourite character from previous stories.
Hubble Bubble is set in the rural village of Hazy Hassocks (don't you love the name?!) and is the tale of Mitzi Blessing, who at the age of 50-something and forced into early retirement from her job at a bank, has to take stock of her life and either dwindle into old age and become part of the invisible generation - or start over.The synopsis for this book looked promising to me because for a start, the heroine is in the same age group and also I was made redundant 18 months ago and had to reconsider my options (not a lot!)
However, the direction that Mitzi's life takes sounds a lot more exciting than my own (two part-time jobs and one of those in the Co-op). Firstly, she determines to join everything her village has to offer which, sadly, she discovers is precisely nothing. However, where there's a will there's a way, and soon Mitzi has stirred up the community to lift themselves out of their apathy and do something positive with their lives.Secondly, Mitzi discovers her granny's old herbal cookbook in the attic, full of old-fashioned recipes with enchanting names like Mischief Night Cake and Powers of Persuasion Pudding. Well, she has to give them a try, doesn't she?
The startling effect that the Wishes Come True Pie has on her two daughters and their respective love lives sets the scene for further fun in the kitchen and well-meaning meddling all round. Life in Hazy Hassocks becomes very interesting indeed.Ms Jones' writing in general is pacey with a huge dollop of feel-good factor ensuring Hubble Bubble is an uplifting read from start to finish. I don't know what genre in which to place this author's books; it's not really chick-lit; her characters range from five to eighty although, generally speaking, I suppose the main protagonists are in their late twenties-early thirties. However, with Mitzie in her fifties perhaps this could be classed as hen-lit? Whatever it is, I can't recall being so taken with an author's style of writing for a long time.
I don't normally do this in book reviews and please look away now if you dislike reading snippets from within a book before you buy it, but I want to illustrate a tiny flavour of what I find appealing about Christina Jones' trademark style of writing. This example will give you an idea of her characters and shows their special odd-ball quirkiness - and it doesn't include any spoilers for the story.Mitzie has to visit her neighbours, eccentric octagenerians, Lavender and Lobelia, one evening after she has been enjoying a few drinks with her daughters and probably looks a little dishevelled. Lav and Lob, always concerned about Mitzie's welfare and more so after her enforced retirement from the bank, results in the following scene:
Mitzie has knocked on their door.….'Eventually, Lavender, wearing a moth-eaten dressing gown and Celtic football socks, pulled the door open and peered across the security chain. 'Oh, hello, Mitzi. Are you all right? Your hair looks funny and your face is all shiny. You're not ill, dear, are you? Ah!' Lavender's eyes widened pleasurably. 'You're letting yourself go dear, aren't you? You've spent one too many lonely nights with the gin bottle and have reached the cry-for-help stage. We knew it would happen before long. Come along in, dear, Lobelia and I will cheer you up…..'
Delicious! I could just hug her writing to death!Hooked from page one, I tried to pace myself so I wouldn't finish the book too soon but finished it in two days. It has magic, enchantment and romance. All the characters are loveable and memorable. Beautifully written with some wry observations of the very real worries and uncertainties that people face when faced with a world full of depressing nothingness after full and useful lives.
The long, dark and miserable winter days are almost upon us. You could do worse than get hooked on Christina Jones' novels - and Hubble Bubble, in particular, will bring some warmth back into your life.Thank you for reading!
Available from Amazon ( or from 0.01p at Amazon's Marketplace) and all good book shops
© Louise Saunders - 2007.
Product Information : Hubble Bubble - Christina Jones
Manufacturer's product descriptionMitzi Blessing is on the scrapheap at 55: a lifetime of organising the church flower rota and making cricket teas seems to loom gloomily ahead of her. However, with the discovery of her grandmother's old cookery book, her enforced early retirement starts to get very interesting.
Genre: Modern Fiction
Title: Hubble Bubble
Author: Christina Jones
ISBN: 074990688X; 0749934972
Listed on Ciao since: 23/05/2006