Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

Meet Eve, who has departed from her thirty-year career to become a Free Spirit; Sally, who has waved goodbye to her indifferent husband and two grown-up children; and Anastasia: defiantly independent narrowboat-dweller, suddenly vulnerable as she awaits a life-saving operation.

This book is much more intelligent than the light-hearted read it appears. Yes, there are jolly escapades as novice canal boat users (in homage to Jerome K Jerome's 'Three Men in a Boat', but each woman is given space to breathe and to clarify their thoughts. Absolutely refreshing that there isn’t the cliché of romance to solve any problems for the characters. Each woman is blissfully very much her own person and self-sufficient. The story gives a real sense of life on the canals and I found it a perfect escapist read. I was left wanting to know more about each character and there is certainly scope for further instalments. A wonderful read, just what is needed at present!