The Reader's Couch Podcast

How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

Join Daphne as she finds love, friendship, and a new purpose in life through her senior citizens club.

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by BiblioLifestyle

The Reader's Couch Podcast - How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley


Have you ever considered that aging could be the most exciting part of your life?  In Clare Pooley’s How to Age Disgracefully, we meet Daphne, a 70-year-old woman who steps out of 15 years of isolation and joins a senior citizens club, uncovering friendship, love, and a mission to save their community center.  So, in this novel, you can expect themes of aging, community, and an exploration of the complexities of life.

Get a copy of How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley on Amazon or Bookshop.   

How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

On the episode: How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

I had the pleasure of chatting with author Claire Pooley about her latest novel, How to Age Disgracefully. This delightful story explores themes of aging, love, and friendship through the eyes of a diverse group of people.

A Journey of Friendship, Love, and Mystery

In How to Age Disgracefully, we meet Daphne, a 70-year-old woman who has lived in isolation for 15 years. On her 70th birthday, she decides to venture out and join a senior citizens club at the local community center. There, she meets a cast of intriguing characters and discovers a sense of community and friendship she didn’t know she needed. The group’s camaraderie is put to the test when their beloved community center faces closure. So we see Daphne and her new friends band together to save it, leading to a series of heartwarming and humorous events.

As Claire and I discuss the novel more, it becomes clear that this story is a testament to the richness of life at any age. Daphne, far from being stereotypical, is vibrant, intelligent, and full of surprises. Plus her journey of reintegrating into society is both touching and inspiring.

Characters That Come to Life

Claire Pooley crafted a memorable group of characters. We have Ruby, who channels her emotions into her knitting, Lydia, who reinvents herself after her kids leave home, and Art, a former actor with a knack for petty crime. Each character brings something unique to the table, making the club dynamic and entertaining. Even Maggie Thatcher, the dog, adds a special charm to the narrative.

Exploring the backstory and intricacies of these characters makes How to Age Disgracefully a compelling read. From the crotchety Ziggy, a single father trying to juggle school and parenting, to the more complex relationships forming between the seniors and the childcare center next door, the book effortlessly portrays life’s myriad complexities.

Reflections and Inspirations

Claire’s personal journey in becoming a novelist adds another layer of depth to her storytelling. Her past work, including The Authenticity Project, Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting, and her memoir The Sober Diaries, reflect her experiences and the themes she passionately writes about. Claire shares stories from her life, such as overcoming addiction and surviving cancer, which heavily influence her writing style and the authenticity she brings to her characters.

Books Mentioned During The Show

Claire’s books:

  • The Authenticity Project
  • Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting
  • The Sober Diaries

All the other books:

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
  • Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  • First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • Weyward by Emilia Hart
  • You Are Here by David Nicholls
  • The Witching Tide by Margaret Meyer
author Clare Pooley

About Clare Pooley

Clare Pooley graduated from Cambridge University, and then spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time writer. Her debut novel, The Authenticity Project, was a New York Timesbestseller, and has been translated into twenty-nine languages. Pooley lives in Fulham, London, with her husband, three children, and two border terriers. Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting was her second novel, and How to Age Disgracefully is her third novel.

How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley

Get a copy of How to Age Disgracefully by Clare Pooley on Amazon or Bookshop.   

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