Title: The Helpline
Author: Katherine Collette
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Germaine Johnson may not be all that good with people but she’s great with numbers. Unfortunately, as she discovers after the incident at Wallace Insurance, there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians.
Then her cousin gets her a job at the council. On the Senior Citizens Helpline.
It’s not the resume entry Germaine wanted—but it turns out Mayor Verity Bainbridge has something more interesting in mind for her. A secret project involving the troublemakers at the senior citizens centre and their feud with the golf club next door. Which is run by the strangely attractive Don Thomas.
Don and the mayor want the seniors closed down.
Germaine wants what Don and the mayor want. But when she’s forced to get to know the ‘troublemakers’—things get more complicated.
I didn’t know what to expect from this but it’s quickly rocketed high up on my list of 2018 reads. It’s a fun mix of humour, emotion and great characters.
I know everyone is probably going to be comparing it to Eleanor Oliphant, but this really struck me as a book with many similarities – and Eleanor Oliphant was one of my favourite books of last year! I’d say this is a lighter read, though, and full of laughs.
The main character, Germaine, is what many people might class as an ‘odd’ character – she’s awkward around other people and often says exactly what she’s thinking, regardless of someone’s feelings or consequences. The more I read about her, the more I began warming to her, and by the end I wished the book was twice as long so I could continue the journey with Germaine! The first person narrative means the reader gets an insight into her thoughts, and her take on – well, just about everything! She’s sharp, sure of herself (mostly) and so intriguing to read about.
The storyline is funny and mostly light-hearted, and though there are quite predictable parts, that just illustrates the way that poor Germaine often doesn’t pick up on what many people would see as ‘obvious’; you can see what’s coming a mile off but often Germaine just doesn’t see it.
I’d really recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet and humourous read, with engaging characters and a (mostly!) uplifting storyline.
Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.