If most magazines and movies are anything to go by, it’s easy to think that we live in a world where falling in love is the exclusive right of 23 year olds with the sort of hair that puts Rapunzel to shame.
But I waited a long time to meet the love of my life, so in my novel A Little Love, I wanted to create a character that showed this is not always the case. I wanted to show that whether we are fifty or seventy, whether we have saggy tums, grey roots, grandchildren and more years behind us than ahead, we are still women! And those butterflies in the stomach, that quickening of the pulse, feels just as good now as they ever did.
In my research, I spoke to many women who had found love later in life and I was fascinated by their stories and their attitudes. Rather than flicking through old photos and mourning yesteryear, these women were willing to let a new chapter of their life begin. Some women, happy in previous relationships, wanted to recreate the bliss in which they had once lived. Others were hoping to have the kind of love they felt they were owed having been short-changed in the joy department. One theme ran through all their stories: it is never too late to find love.
Pru Plum, the heroine of my latest novel, ‘A Little Love’, is sixty-six and the owner of a successful patisserie in London’s Mayfair. An outwardly assured, attractive woman, she seemingly has it all, apart from the one thing that has proved elusive her whole life - love.
As we follow Pru on her turbulent adventure, learning of her rise from East End factory girl to society baker, it becomes clear that money is no gatekeeper to tragedy. Her wealth and position in life cannot prevent the past from catching up with her and threatening to ruin her chance of happiness.
Pru represents all women who look in the mirror and think of the past instead of the future. She is testament to the fact that life begins when you let it; that everyone, regardless of age, does indeed deserve a little love…
I want this novel to whisk you away to a sumptuous world of baking and self-discovery, and I hope that reading it will leave you feeling like you have listened to a good friend tell her life story over tea and cake.