Welcome to my stop on the tour for the Vintage Springtime Club by Beatrice Meier. I have a great excerpt for you, a review and a giveway to win a copy of the book!
Newly retired Philip returns home to Cologne and is thrown into emotional turmoil upon bumping into his long-lost sweetheart. In the midst of a domestic crisis, Ricarda confides in Philip that she is looking for somewhere to live. And there and then, Philip suggests that she move in with him - he is setting up a flatshare. Will she join him with his mischievous dachshund named Ralf?
To his surprise, Ricarda agrees, leaving Philip to scramble together a crew of retires in time for spring, for the most unlikely of social experiments. There's grumpy cigarette-smoking grandfather Harry; quiet and discreet Eckart, curiously carting around his late wife's headstone; Uschi, brimming with life, harbouring a passion for leotards and aerobics, along with sausages and outrageous knitting patterns; and then, ever-practical and warm-hearted Ricarda, towards whom Phillip is developing real feelings.
Despite their differences, the flatmates thrive and embark on a series of new adventures. But when Uschi falls unwell, familiar cracks begin to show and this uniquely spirited club of friends must work together in order to survive - and truly blossom.
This was a lovely read, I never thought a book about sixty-some-things would give me the warm and fuzzies!
Set in Germany, five very different people move in together but they aren't in their twenties, they are in their 50s and 60s and together they embark on their next great adventure - flatshare!
The five are Ricarda who is the long lost sweetheart of Phillip, they are joined by grumpy Harry, upbeat quirky Uschi and slightly odd Eckart, oh and they have an adorable dachshund called Ralf.
Can all of them live together and get on?
Yes they can and they become a tight knit unit, a unit that faces a challenge when Uschi falls and her life changes dramatically.
When Uschi comes home from the hospital, her room mates group together to support her as best as they can, the ultimate testing of their new and rekindled friendships.
This is a heart warming read with lovely characters and an adorable dog, I am a sucker for pets in books and have been known to go to the last page to make sure the pet stays alive!, this book is just lovely, a sweet read which flows beautifully from start to finish.
Thanks to Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Ralf sniffed his way across the empty flat’s freshly polished
floorboards. A scent of newly sanded wood lingered in the
air; the smell was a bit similar to the park outside. The only
objects left in his former owner’s room were the flowery
wingback chair and the old desk. Strong men had carried
away all the other pieces of furniture. A new kitchen had
been fitted, and Philip had moved into the master room,
where he slept on a narrow day bed. The other rooms were
The doorbell rang, and Philip went to answer it. Ralf
wiggled out inquisitively on to the landing with him. A
rumbling noise rose from the lower floors.
A naked woman edged her way up the stairs and banged
her head on the side of the stairwell.
Ouch! Philip’s face twisted into a grimace of pain. Laden with a mannequin
and five bags, with two cushions squashed under her arm,
Ricarda climbed the last few steps, her cheeks flushed red.
She had put her hair up in a messy bun. Philip took a few
steps towards her.
‘Bitten off more than we can chew again?’ He offered to
relieve her of something. Ralf wagged his tail.
‘No, don’t,’ said Ricarda, ‘or you’ll upset the balance.’ All
the same, Philip applied some light pressure and extracted
the mannequin from under her arm. They smiled at each
‘Ready?’ he asked.
‘Ready,’ she replied with a nod.
They gave each other a kiss on both cheeks while contorting
their bodies around the naked woman. The thuds
from below grew louder, and deep male voices called out
‘Well, friends, isn’t this all very exciting!’ Plump little
Uschi came panting up the stairs. She too was weighed
down, with bags and a plant. Ralf wagged his tail joyfully.
He even considered jumping down a step to meet her and
pawed at the air, but then opted to wait where he was.
When Uschi reached the top, he sniffed nosily at her bag
and jumped up happily against her legs. Not much, only
about a half an inch, but that was a big deal for Ralf; he
didn’t do that for just anyone.
‘Ralfie,’ Uschi gasped, and tickled his floppy brown ears.
He yelped. He liked Uschi. Uschi smelled good. Uschi
smelled of sausage.
‘Crikey. How did Philip’s mother ever get up here?’ asked
Harry, covered in sweat, as he went out on to the kitchen
balcony for a smoke. He accidentally brushed the kitchen
table as he went past. Uschi’s pile of red stoneware plates
with white polka dots swayed alarmingly. Ricarda had been
unpacking the boxes for the kitchen, but she jumped to her
feet to steady the teetering tower.
‘You know what, Harry,’ she said, ‘those three floors are
probably the very reason Philip’s mother made it to ninety.’
‘No, no – the oak wardrobe goes in the second room on
the right. Yes, there.’ Uschi’s voice could be heard out in
the hallway, conducting the removal men and redirecting
at the last possible moment any packing cases that looked as
if they might end up in the wrong room. Ralf was trying to
stick close to Uschi, but it took all his agility to keep out of
danger. Twice he received a light, unintentional kick, but he
rolled nimbly aside and escaped into the nearest doorway.
‘The dresser in the first room . . . Yes, good. On the left
there. What about this one?’ Uschi inspected a box that
another, slightly overweight removal man was hauling into
the flat. It was unlabelled. She chatted away to the overweight
man while she scratched the sticky tape off the packing case.
‘No idea whose this is. I’ve only known them for two months,
though Philip and Ricarda go way back . . . ’
Ricarda removed a red pressure cooker from a box and set
it down beside four others.
‘ . . . since university, and Harry . . . No, that little table
goes in the first on the right. That’s it. Anyway, Harry finished
school with Philip, and . . . ’
A short removal man put another box down next to
Ricarda and the kitchen table, causing Uschi’s plates to
wobble perilously again. Ralf toddled along the hallway.
‘ . . . no, Eckart and Philip didn’t know each other, but
Eckart’s bank was in the same street as . . . ’
In his room, Eckart was instructing two movers to
position his solid oak wardrobe one inch further to the
left. Mind you . . . He gauged the distance between it
and the window, and shook his head. Back an inch to
the right. Good. Or maybe a couple, if you’d be so kind.
The overweight removal man stared at Uschi’s fingers as
if hypnotised. She had nearly finished scratching the tape
off, but not quite.
‘You see, Philip is very socially minded. He was in Africa,
out in the bush, operating on people, in the middle of the
wilderness. Stop! Put that box in the bathroom, please.
Now, where was I?’
Oh, my— Uschi finally managed to open the box and
fished out a Playboy magazine. A naked blonde beamed up
at them. The mover directed a silent cry for help at Philip,
who was lugging some tools into another room.
Philip glanced at the magazine cover on his way past.
‘Harry,’ he said drily.
‘Which room?’ the overweight mover begged breathlessly.
‘Beautiful flat! Are you renting it?’ asked one of Eckart’s
wardrobe-carriers. The overweight removal man rolled his
eyes in horror, his expression saying, Are you nuts? Too late.
‘Inherited,’ Uschi continued. ‘Philip’s mother used to live
here. She always bought her cooked sausage at our shop. She
liked our liver sausage best. You should try—’
A terrible crash from the kitchen finally brought Uschi’s
stream of words to a halt. Ralf tucked his tail between his
‘Oh, shit!’ hissed Harry. ‘Who put those in such a stupid
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