The Helpline by Katherine Collette is a book that is fun and amusing read and will tug at your heartstrings. Germaine is a character that is reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant, yet has her own set of quirky behaviours. Also, the side characters are wonderful, especially the group of seniors that befriend Germaine.Title: The Helpline: A Novel
Author: Katherine Collette
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
An eccentric woman who is great with numbers—but not so great with people—realizes it’s up to her to pull a community together in this charming, big-hearted debut perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project.
Germaine Johnson doesn’t need friends. She has her work and her Sudoku puzzles. Until, that is, an incident at her insurance company leaves her jobless—and it turns out that there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians with zero people skills.
Soon enough though, Germaine manages to secure a position at City Hall answering calls on the Senior Citizens Helpline. But it turns out that the mayor has something else in mind for Germaine: a secret project involving the troublemakers at the senior citizens center and their feud with the neighboring golf club—which happens to be run by the dashing yet disgraced national Sudoku champion, Don Thomas, a celebrity of the highest order to Germaine.
Don and the mayor want the senior center closed down and at first, Germaine is dedicated to helping them out—it makes sense mathematically, after all. But when Germaine actually gets to know the group of elderly rebels at the senior center, they open her eyes to a life outside of boxes and numbers and for the first time ever, Germaine realizes she may have miscalculated.
Filled with an eccentric, totally unique, and (occasionally) cranky cast of characters you can’t help but love, The Helpline is a feel-good page-turner that will make you reexamine what it means to lead a happy life—and is bound to capture your heart along the way.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Book Review: The Helpline
This book is such a sweet and lighthearted read. The concept is really enjoyable and the settings of the mayor’s office and a seniors’ centre make for some interesting dynamics. There is so much humour in the writing that it is easy to envision this novel translating to the screen.
❀ Perfect Main Character
Germaine is a perfect main character for the book. Her ability to track and organize the smallest of details is uncanny, yet endearing. If she is given a task, she ensures that every measure is taken to analyze and improve upon it. When she is given the job of answering the seniors’ helpline, Germaine goes through a transformation as she really gets to know her clients.
❀ Multiple Generations
Books with multiple generations always seem to have an intriguing plot, Germaine becomes friends with her co-workers, the seniors she is trying to help, and even a child she tutors. All of these characters come together to create a meaningful and laugh-out-loud story.
If you are a fan of books that are both funny and down-to-earth, this is one to add to your summer reading list. The characters are wonderful and the writing is quite funny. I look forward to reading what Collette comes up with next.