This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
After the Calendar by Meg Heaven is a very much tongue-in-cheek look at what is clearly seen by women as a serious problem. For the past nine years, three respectable, middle-aged women have taken on the annual role of fundraisers for their local community hospice, a cause all three are passionate about. Coming up with something new, interesting, and unique to raise funds becomes more difficult as each year passes. Last year’s artistically nude calendar featuring among others, the three ladies themselves, may have been successful financially but certainly embarrassed the three women personally and raised no end of criticism from the conservative, staid, and mainly male Hospice Board of Trustees. Coming up with something new for their tenth year and the one they think might be their swansong has been difficult for Kay, Liz, and Renée. As they sit in their favorite teashop, The Silver Samovar, brainstorming ideas, it appears they may have to fall back on something boring that they’ve tried before. Nothing, it seems, is coming to them to set their hearts aflutter; the instructions from the Trustees were very clear – nothing risqué and certainly nothing controversial. All three agreed another calendar was definitely out, but what then? When the ladies are joined by Kay’s daughter, Jamie, newly wed to the local vicar, no less, an innocent question of “how’s married life treating you, Jamie?” would open up the glimmer of an idea for this year’s fundraising mission. It would be controversial and it could be risqué but what the hell, it’s the ladies' tenth year, isn’t it – shouldn’t they go for it?
After the Calendar isn’t belly-laughingly funny but its subject matter will definitely have you grinning and chuckling, especially when the ladies get down to “brass tacks”. Author Meg Heaven has given us the perfect characters to carry out this dive into the depths of human behavior. All three ladies are well-respected, conservative, and “pillars of the community” but when they discover just how important the topic is for women all over the world, they are prepared to jump in “boots and all” to expose it to their community. I particularly loved the delicious irony of two of the women involved in the production actually being married to two of the Hospice’s Board of Trustees. As a man reading this book probably intended for a female audience, I felt privileged to learn and understand that something I’d assumed was nothing to worry about was actually a major factor and a real bugbear for many women. This book wasn’t just intended to rally women and show them they were not alone in this struggle. I feel it was also a clarion call to the entire male population to wake up and smell the… roses? The story is genuinely funny in places, the writing is simple and easy to read, and as an added bonus there is plenty of good, solid, factual information on the topic. You need to read the book to understand what the women are focusing on in their whimsical play/production for the Hospice but I can tell you, it is something of major concern to all women and should be of major concern to all men. Go ahead and give it a read – I can highly recommend it.