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The Helpline

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‘Nicely observed, with deft writing that makes it look easy. I think we all know someone like Germaine’ GRAEME SIMSION, bestselling author of The Rosie Project

Office life can be a minefield . . .

Germaine Johnson likes Sudoku, biscuits and maths. She is great with numbers and not so great with people. But after an incident at work leaves her jobless, she's forced to accept a position she's entirely wrong for: answering the phones of the Senior Citizen's Helpline.

However, it turns out that the role involves a more interesting secret project: to shut down the local community centre and stop the elderly 'troublemakers' in their tracks. Germaine initially believes she is the no-nonsense woman for the job - until she gets to know the very people she's trying to evict.

As the rebelling senior citiziens begin to open Germaine's eyes to a life outside boxes and numbers, she realises that she may be the only one capable of pulling their feuding community together . . .

Witty, big-hearted and hugely enjoyable, The Helpline is what you might get if you crossed The Rosie Project with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Photograph by Catherine Black

Katherine Collette is a Melbourne-based writer and sewage engineer. She once worked at a senior citizens council and her experience there informed The Helpline, her debut novel.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (July 30, 2019)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471179891