The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital


The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. Manned by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word or a sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns. Stalwart Hilary has been at the cafeteria for ten years and has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress’s prized red apron; Joy has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria’s newest recruit. She doesn’t take her role as ‘the intern’ quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there’s no doubt that with her Classic Copper hair, sparkly blue false eyelashes and vibrant dress sense, she brings a welcome pop of colour and personality; Seventeen-year-old Chloe Foster-Pearson is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV. That Chloe will apply to medical school is a foregone conclusion: both her parents are successful surgeons. Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it. Heartwarming and hilarious, this is the new novel by the author of cherished bestsellers, The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village and The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home.
Published 2021.

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Nell, Joanna