‘Three older women meet by chance in Ibiza, and their lives are transformed
by friendship, new chances, and a little bit of magic.’
-The Ibiza Crone Club
The Ibiza Crone Club: New Beginnings by Josephine O’ Brien was published in 2022 and is described as ‘equal parts escapism and soul-searching’. In her bio (see below) Josephine says that after many years spent writing in notebooks she finally gave herself ‘permission’ to call herself a writer. I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate Josephine on publication of her work and I am delighted to bring you all an extract today, so I do hope you enjoy.
[ About The Ibiza Crone Club ]
Maeve Binchy meets Marian Keyes in this wonderful, feel-good, holiday read. Challenge, change, fun, and friendship are possible at any age!
Ibiza magic begins when the three women meet in the emergency room of a hospital and realise that more than their medical issues need help. Tanit, the goddess of women, fertility, and water is on hand to help.
Their initial encounter is a stroke of fate that ignites a friendship that will change their lives forever. Josephine O’Brien’s storytelling magic is evident right from the start as she weaves a captivating tale that effortlessly draws you into the lives of these women.
[ Extract ]
Pamela scrutinized Cassandra’s face “You’re not seriously thinking you spoke to a goddess, are you?”
Cassandra answered honestly, “You see, it turns out where I live is near the site of Tanit’s temple… so, I’m not saying it wasn’t the weed, but… maybe…?”
Pamela turned to Bláithín. “What do you think?”
“Oh, well, I’m Irish, so, despite anything we may claim to the contrary, believing in fairies and spirits is in our genes.”
Cassandra guffawed. “Way to go, Bláth! But it gave me a tremendous idea, which in the light of both of your trials and tribulations, will blow your socks off!”
Cassandra cut off a piece of warm frangipani tart and bit into it. “Mmmm, divine!” She continued, “As you know, I must be out of my house shortly because I can’t afford the rent. Sooo… how about… if you guys move in with me and we share the villa and the rent? I’m telling you; this house is beyond special!”
She held up her hand as both Pamela and Bláithín were shaking their heads.
“No, listen.” She sipped her wine before continuing, “Pamela, you just said that you thought Susan and Glen could do with a bit of space. If you moved to my house, they’d have it. There’s a large room you could use, just for painting. It’s all tile and stone so you can splash paint as much as you like. Also, it has wonderful light because of a great big window.”
Pamela topped up her wine with sparkling water and stopped shaking her head. Cassandra took this as a good sign. She turned to Bláithín. “Your brother and sister-in-law wouldn’t freak about you being alone anymore. This would get them off your back. There’s also a fab room where you can set up a studio and work on your photos.”
Cassandra filled her glass from the carafe and looked questioningly at Bláithín who held out hers. Apart from Cassandra’s first taste, the dessert plate was untouched. The mango sorbet was beginning to melt through its honeycomb basket.
Pamela’s mouth turned down at the sides. “I couldn’t. It would seem terribly ungrateful to Susan and Glen after all the trouble they’ve gone to, doing up my apartment.”
Cassandra interrupted, “You’d only be twenty minutes away, and imagine, the next time you wake up with an idea in the middle of the night, you’ll be able to spring into action!”
“How could I manage it?” Bláithín asked.
“Look, you’re paying rent, anyway, so why not pay it to live in a fabulous house with your friends? Your boss is hardly going to object if you hand back the keys early, given that it’s all kinda his fault, anyway.”
Pamela scooped some tiramisu out of its glass jar. “It does seem appealing, but honestly, wouldn’t it be awful to make the move to Ibiza with them and then strike out on my own?”
“But you’d like to, wouldn’t you?” prodded Cassandra, catching the interest in Pamela’s voice. “Your daughter’s a grown woman with her own family, she doesn’t need you on her doorstep, does she? Also, -” she held up a finger, “We’re not getting any younger, and if we can’t do something like this now, when can we do it?”
“Do you know how much it would be?” Bláithín broke a piece off the honeycomb basket as she spoke.
Cass grinned; that wasn’t a no. “To be honest, I’m not sure, but I know someone who could put in a good word for us. And maybe we can swing winter rates until next May anyway. That’s only six months. Pamela, that would be so easy to sell to Susan, I mean, come on! Twenty minutes away for six months? That’s nothing.”
Bláithín’s forehead furrowed as she tried to explain her objections. “We’re middle-aged women-”
“That’s being kind,” muttered Pamela.
Bláithín made a wry face but continued, “-who barely know each other. It all seems a bit mad.”
Cassandra waved her index finger from side to side. “It’s not mad. Kids answer ads on their phones every day of the week and move in with complete strangers. I may be wrong, but I think the three of us have hit it off in a way that I know I haven’t with anyone for-” she paused and looked a bit surprised. “I don’t think I can remember feeling so comfortable with anyone! Also, this is Ibiza, strange and wonderful things happen here.”
The women fell silent. The hubbub around them had died down to the clatter of plate clearing and the scrape of chairs as the tables around them were emptying by now.
Cassandra leant forward, elbows on the table, and said, “Okay, I’m wrapping up my pitch by saying don’t decide until you spend a night in my place. Just one night. Then think about it.” She grinned at them. “Go on, take a chance.” She sat back in her chair, swaying her shoulders, circling her elbows, and humming Abba’s Take a Chance.
Her friends dissolved into laughter.
Bláithín sat back in her chair. “Sure, one night isn’t committing to anything, is it?”
Pamela nodded. “Yes, and why shouldn’t we make new friends and do odd things, at this age?”
“That’s the spirit, girls! What about next Tuesday?”
PURCHASE LINK – THE IBIZA CRONE CLUB
[ Bio ]
‘A Cork woman born and bred; I didn’t leave Cork until I was forty-five. School years (leading to life-long friendships) were spent in the dark, rickety, wonderful, ahead-of-its-time Scoil Mhuire. I think Kate and MaryO would be impressed with the hard work and dedication I put into my books but horrified at the bad language I also put in!
I was lucky enough to attend the School of Art when it was in the iconic Crawford building, though all study was interrupted by falling in love, getting married, and having children.
The thing is, I was writing ideas for stories the whole time. Notebooks filled drawers, bags, and pockets but I never thought I could write a book. Maybe having five children had something to do with that! Then, some years ago, a story so complete and vivid filled my head, that it threw me into a frenzy of writing, and I published my first book, Shared Skies.
My notebooks became files, and my files became books, and I gave myself permission to call myself a writer.‘
– In the words of Josephine O’ Brien
X ~ @WritesaidJo