Reviews of Juicy Crones
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"Jay, I finally finished the book and what a refreshing read it was. Been trying to think of the right words for your book and inspirational and aspirational doesn’t seem quite right somehow. I find it so interesting to read about the different adventures and the facts that came with it that I was totally unaware of. I was reading this whilst the news was filled with the news of how “embarrassing and mortifying” it was for the police to have announced that Nicola Bulley was struggling with menopause related mental health issues and thanks to this book I didn’t agree with that statement. There is absolutely nothing embarrassing about it at all, in fact she was completely normal and this book has removed the stigma for me and is raising the question of why are we forced to do sex ed in school and then antenatal classes for pregnancy but there are no support classes that I’m aware of for menopausal women! 💯 of women will go through it at some point but I think the only thing you get gifted from the NHS is a bloody mammogram!!
Well done on capturing the stories of yourself and others so eloquently. Whilst I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to my “third act”, I certainly feel a bit more prepared to face it head on, and hope my own adventure isn’t about my menopausal rage getting the better of me and end up burying my husband under the patio! However that would make an excellent crime drama sequel for you 😆
Juicy Crones by Jay Courtney
Review by Simon Fine
After retiring from a distinguished career in education and health, Jay Courtney was finding her way into a different life beyond the world of work and family that she had known for forty years. Recognising that the average woman will live thirty years after menopause, Jay decided to blend travel and writing.
She embarked on inspiring walks around the island of Guernsey and across the sands of Morecambe Bay. She also enrolled for beginners courses in art and writing, subsequently an MA in Travel and Nature Writing, all of which she embraced with an inquisitive mindset.
Part of the course requirement was to take a solo trip and write about it. Jay went to The Faroe Islands and her submission won the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel writing competition for 2018.
Her latest writing project is Juicy Crones. Jay has used her media appearances to invite post-menopausal women to share their experiences with her and she has gathered stories from amazing women from around the world into a celebration of life. The book features a dozen such stories of women embracing their ‘third act’ with determination and energy.
Each story is unique and remarkable. Many of the women have overcome major life challenges to do the things they always dreamed of or have discovered an unknown part of themselves. Alex has taken up running ultra-marathons after being diagnosed with cancer, Debs, a former accountant, has set up a campsite in rural Hungary, Caroline has opened an art gallery in Ledbury after bringing up a family of four, Andie whose ambitions for a career as a pilot were frustrated, is now learning to fly, and Supriya has discovered her vocation as a professional musician.
Every one of the stories is impressive but one woman who has shown outstanding resilience is Jorj, who enjoyed a career in PR, overcame the misfortunate of a disabling illness to set up a business helping others regain their mobility and fitness, only to have it taken away by the pandemic. Undeterred, at seventy three, she has set up a new social enterprise with a former contact.
Jay is spearheading a campaign to help older women claim this part of their lives for adventure, activism and creativity, challenging the notion that they are “past their best”.
This is an inspirational book for the UK’s 12 million ‘crones’. These are stories of women who have reconnected with aspects of themselves that somehow got lost with the passage of time, who are looking for new beginnings, shifting away from a role of being good mothers and becoming women in their own right.
Author, Jay Courtney
Jay Courtney retired from a career in education and health to enter an unfamiliar world. Until retiring, her writing had focussed solely on children’s health and well-being, but after completing an MA in Travel and Nature Writing at Bath Spa University and winning the Telegraph’s ‘Just Back’ travel writing competition for her account of a solo trip to the Faroe Islands, she has made it her mission to seek out other ‘Juicy Crones’.
She has journeyed into becoming a juicy crone too – writing this, her first book, joining her voice with twelve women, all adding to the growing canon of inspiring, wise women.
Juicy Crones by Jay Courtney is published by Bradt Guides in paperback at £9.99.
For more information about the book visit www.bradtguides.com