Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – #Romance, #Humour – Chapter Twenty – A new life by Sally Cronin

This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was the semi-autobiographical Just an Odd Job Girl.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.

Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Last time  Imogen connects with Peter again and he persuades her that he is a changed man asks her to marry him…

The Final Chapter – A New Life.

I arrived punctually for my appointment with Andrew, and was shown straight in by Elizabeth. She gave me a great boost by complimenting me on my hair and clothes and I was visibly preening as I entered Andrew’s office. I found him with another man in deep conversation, which came to an abrupt halt as I entered.

‘Imogen, good to see you again and may I say how wonderful you are looking.’

You may, I thought smugly, carefully putting the cost of the transformation to the back of my mind.

‘I would like to introduce you to a very good friend of mine. Jack Doyle, meet Imogen Smythe.’

I wasn’t sure if I was interrupting something, but Andrew invited me to sit down.

‘Well Imogen, after we spoke the other day, I passed your C.V. on to Jack. He runs a counselling service for young men and women who are having problems finding jobs – or keeping them – and is looking for an assistant for both the office and ‘after training’ to help with the interviewing. I thought that, with all your varied work experience, and being a mother as well, you could be of great benefit to Jack’s organisation.’

I couldn’t believe it. There was I thinking that my work track record indicated a fly-by-night approach to earning a living, and it was now being turned into an asset. I turned to Jack who smiled encouragingly at me.

He then began to tell me about his organisation, and its aims, and how they needed someone who was efficient, flexible and adaptable to keep him and two other counsellors in order. The pay was not marvellous and I would need to do a training course one day a week for the next six months to enable me to assist in the interviews. But, if I was interested, he was happy to take Andrew’s recommendation and offer me the position. Would I be interested? Of course I would, I was thrilled and accepted delightedly.

‘I think that calls for a celebration.’ Andrew got up and shook my hand.

‘Let’s all go up to Pings in the high-street for some Sake and crispy duck.’

Oh good! My favourite. I happily left the office between Jack and Andrew and over some grilled dumplings and crispy duck, I regaled them with some of the highlights of my reminiscences. I haven’t laughed as much for a long time and as we parted company with Jack on the pavement outside the restaurant, I knew that there were some great times ahead.

I was right. Six months later found me fully trained, and an official member of Jack’s team. I was also going out with Andrew, who had rung me the week I started work and asked me out for dinner on the Friday. We began seeing each other two or three times a week, going to the theatre, dinner and the movies. After a couple of weeks he came to dinner one Friday night and didn’t leave until Sunday. It was lovely, and I felt young and sexy, and desired.

We are getting married next month in a small ceremony, with just my children and Jack. We have booked our honeymoon hotel in Killbilly! I found out that Patrick is still running the place, and was absolutely thrilled that I was coming to stay.

Finally, the icing on the cake. One Friday night, just as I was getting into bed I received a frantic call from Peter.

‘Imogen, please, you have to come over, we are at the end of our tether, the baby won’t stop crying, the doctor has said that there is nothing he can do. You were so good with the children, please we are desperate.

‘How could I refuse? I dressed got in my car and drove down familiar roads until I reached my old home. The gates swung open, and as I made my way up the drive, the front door was flung open. There was my ex husband and the ‘fast tracker’ looking dishevelled, worn and rather grubby. She was awkwardly holding a squalling baby, as it squirmed in her arms. Peter grabbed me gratefully, and rescuing the child from its mother’s arms, he thrust it at me.

The baby looked up at me tearfully as I gently rocked it back and forth. I smiled down at him and saw a likeness to my children. The tears stopped and he gurgled up at me, smiling and chortling. Peter and the fast tracker stared at one another and then at the baby and me. I looked up to see Peter eyeing me from top to toe and I was delighted that despite having thrown everything on in a hurry I still looked pretty good. Was that a hint of regret that I saw on his face, I did hope so? Oh sweet revenge!

I left them an hour later with my mother’s recipe for teething babies and some advice to Peter on where to find a good nanny. I think outside help was the kindest thing for the baby, and I think Peter realised it would be best for the health of his new marriage too.

I drove home, thinking about Andrew, the wedding and my children, realising just how great life can be – certainly not too bad for just an odd job girl.

©Sally Georgina Cronin – Just an Odd Job Girl

I hope you have enjoyed Just an Odd Job Girl… thanks for joining me Sally

Jacquie Biggar January 4th 2022

After devoting her life to her family, Imogen is replaced by a younger woman (a fast-tracker) after twenty years of marriage and must overcome her self-doubt to move on to the next stage of her life.

Just an Odd Job Girl is a highly entertaining story of a fifty-year-old’s voyage into a working world she thought herself ill-equipped to handle until a new friend shows her just how much she truly has to offer.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments as Imogen relives her past vocations, everything from a nebulous job on the docks to a dentist’s assistant, a job in a funeral home, a restaurant manager, and more. It soon becomes obvious that Imogen is a Jack of all Trades and an asset to any employer.

Many wives and mothers of the era were stay-at-home caretakers for their families. They set aside career aspirations to make a safe and loving home for their children- often at the price of their own sense of value. Then the kids leave home, husbands become restless, and suddenly, the wife is left to absorb the loss and find her way to a new beginning. Not easy for anyone.

This is a highly entertaining read told by a wonderful storyteller. I especially enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor and the delightful ending- a well-deserved 5 star read!

You can find my other books and their recent reviews: Sally’s books and reviews 2022

37 thoughts on “Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – #Romance, #Humour – Chapter Twenty – A new life by Sally Cronin

  1. Hi Sally, honestly I can never understand what possesses men when they embark on second families with younger women. I adore my sons but once around that block was more than enough. They deserve what they get, quite frankly. Ah, I just love this book. PS your last l and full stop are missing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Loved this story all the way again Sal. And the perfect ending to wind up with Andrew who took so much patience and enjoyment listening, probably in amusement to Imogen’s life stories. ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The perfect conclusion! Sweet revenge without being vicious! I have this one on Kindle and have enjoyed it so much I hope to read it again in the next couple of months and write a review for it. It’s a proper gem! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – June 20th -26th 2022 – Garden, Roberta Flack, St. Barts, Culinary A-Z, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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