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Book Review - 'The Great Escape From Woodlands Nursing Home' By Joanna Nell


Woodlands Nursing Home is housing two residents who are vastly different, and when their paths cross things get interesting.


Eighty-nine-year-old Hattie Bloom is one independent woman. She is a bird lover and expert on their behaviour, Hattie enjoys her solitude. One day while out trying to stop a tree from being cut down so a family of owls could nest, she has a devastating fall and fractures her hip. The injury lands her in respite care while she gains her strength back.


Ninety-year-old Walter Clements is what you might call a bit of a ‘card’. He likes a good joke and sees himself as a bit of a comedian. He likes a nightcap or two and needs to prove he is still safe to drive by showing the staff he can take the Tesla (electric scooter) for a spin around the block without causing carnage.


When these two meet at ‘The Night Owls’ gathering in the dead of night an unlikely friendship develops. ‘The Night Owls’ is run by night shift nurse Sister Bronwyn along with her loyal canine companion, Queenie. Sister Bronwyn takes an unconventional approach to caring for the elderly. She likes to think outside the box and the residents love her.


Strict bedtime routines, boring food, annoying personalities, boredom, and a one approach fits all attitude have Hattie and Walter planning their escape.


When Sister Bronwyn gets stood down after an unfortunate incident involving one of the residents, their escape plan gets put on hold while they come up with a plan to get Sister Bronwyn reinstated.


What follows involves blossoming new friendships, loss, lots of laughs, and twists and turns that will have you laughing, crying, and gasping with shock.


Joanna Nell has delivered another gem. I am a huge fan of this author and absolutely loved this book. A heartwarming story that explores the emotions, fears, determination, and resolve of our older population when faced with the challenge of losing their independence.


I am also a passionate advocate for older people in my day job as an Aged Care Clinical Nurse Consultant in a large teaching hospital in Sydney.


This book brings to light the many challenges people face as they age and become frailer. Ensure you read the Authors Note in the back. It brought me to tears.

Thank you, Joanna, for once again bringing us a wonderful story focusing on a valuable population with so much to offer society, who are sadly, all too often overlooked, ignored, or dismissed.


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