The Highland Hens – Judy Leigh

Published By: Boldwood
Pages: 356
Released On: 04/08/2022

In the imposing Glen Carrick House overlooking Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, lives eighty-eight-year-old Mimi McKinlay, cared for by her three adult sons. Hamish has inherited his mother’s musical talents, Fin is the responsible brother, and Angus has the complicated and brooding personality to match his dashing good looks. 

But what all the brothers share is a concern that their beloved mother is living in her memories of her days on stage, while letting her present days pass her by.

Jess Oliver is at a turning point. Amicably divorced after years of being married, this trip to the Highlands is a first taste of independence. It isn’t long before the beauty and hospitality of Scotland captures her heart.

When Mimi and Jess’s paths cross, a friendship is formed that will change both women’s lives.  And as together they find ways to look forward instead of to the past, long forgotten dreams are within reach, and every new day is fresh with possibilities. 


Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

A Judy Leigh novel + Scotland + the theatre + love and friendship. Is there a better combination? I’ll answer that…no!

There are three sons in the book and I instantly liked Angus, he seemed like the most complete character, honest and likeable. The other two were not my favourites but they did grow on me throughout the story. But my favourite character was their mother Mimi. She was absolutely fabulous. 88 and never better in my eyes. She’s had a fascinating life and is not ready to give that up, and why should she? Why shouldn’t she wear a fancy frock, heels and an elaborate headdress for lunch if she wants to? I hope I get to be as amazing as she is.

Scotland is described perfectly, almost like a poem. I love the country and it’s depicted so visually, it’s absolutely beautiful. I fell in love with the idea of Hogmanay. I spent New Years in Scotland about ten years ago and I loved it, but to be in a grand house, snow falling and bagpipes playing (yes I like them) is just idyllic. There is also a small Christmassy scene and anyone who have read my previous reviews knows how much I love a festive book so that’s definitely a big green tick.

The descriptions of Mimi’s clothes is enough to warrant a TV series I feel. Whilst lovely on the page, they’d do even better on a screen, with someone of Maggie Smith’s calibre.

It is overwhelmingly happy and joyful and loving and funny and beautiful, but, if you’re anything like me, it’ll destroy your heart and you’ll find yourself sobbing as a friend. I really felt part of this family and I didn’t want to leave them.

One thought on “The Highland Hens – Judy Leigh

  1. Thanks so much for this gorgeous review. The Highland Hens isn’t out yet and every author feels a moment of anticipation before a new novel is published. You have warmed my heart. It’s always so nice when a reviewer ‘gets’ characters in a novel. You’re an absolute star…. Sending warmest wishes, J xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: