Call of the Penguins by Hazel Prior #bookreview @HazelPriorBooks @TransworldBooks

Like many people, I adored Away with the Penguins and was eagerly awaiting the follow up to find out what happened next for Veronica and her penguin pals. Let’s see what Call of the Penguins is about…

About the book

Meet the heroine everyone’s talking about . . .

Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea.

But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife.

More specifically, a love for penguins!

And so when she’s invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance.

Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.

Perhaps it’s never too late to shine?

My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading about what happened next for Veronica. She’s such an engaging character, so determined and so sure of herself and yet she is very shaken by some revelations in the book. She makes me laugh at times with her certainty that her recall cannot be faulted and that she is always right!

The story is told again through the perspectives of three of the characters. There’s Veronica, of course, her grandson Patrick, and Terry, one of the scientists at the penguin research station in Antarctica. I thought this worked really well and that the author created very distinct voices for all her characters. Special mention has to be made of young Daisy, such a sweet little girl who has the wisdom and bravery that the other characters sometimes lacked.

The stories of the three main characters play out in very different locations to begin with, before coming together in the Falkland Islands on the aptly named Bolder Island. There are some difficult issues covered in the book, with the characters facing many challenges but there is always a lightness, quite often provided by the penguins.

There’s a strong emphasis on the environment and the inter-connectedness of actions throughout the world, with climate change having an impact even on the penguins in the Antarctic. It seemed very appropriate that I was reading this book while the world leaders were attending COP26 in Glasgow, debating what they could do to limit further damage caused by climate change.

Call of the Penguins is full of quirky and memorable characters and is another engaging and uplifting story from Hazel Prior. I am hoping that there will be further adventures with Veronica, the penguins and all the other characters I have come to know so well.

About the Author


HAZEL PRIOR lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist. Hazel is the author of Ellie and the Harp-Maker and Away with the Penguins, which was a #1 bestseller in ebook and audiobook. Call of the Penguins is her third novel.

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