> Skip to content
Read an extract About the book
  • Published: 28 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760895594
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99
Categories:

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan




The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is a charming, nostalgic and heartwarming story for women of any age – and it all begins when 79-year-old Shirley kidnaps her husband from his nursing home for one final adventure . . .

'An endearing novel about one gutsy, smart and inspirational woman. I want to be Shirley when I grow up.' Rachael Johns

'Elderly. Is that how the world sees me? A helpless little old lady? If only they knew. I allow myself a small smirk.'

When Shirley Sullivan signs her 83-year-old husband, Frank, out of the Sunset Lodge Nursing Home, she has no intention of bringing him back.

For fifty-seven years the couple has shared love, happiness and heartbreak. And while Frank may not know who his wife is these days, he knows he wants to go home. Back to the beach where they met in the early 1960s . . .

So Shirley enacts an elaborate plan to evade the authorities – and their furious daughter, Fiona – to give Frank the holiday he’d always dreamed of.

And, in doing so, perhaps Shirley can make amends for a lifelong guilty secret . . .


'With both humour and heart, The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan takes the reader on a (literal) journey – in a Kombi van! – following one couple’s unconventional love story, and examining the lengths a person will go to to right the wrongs of a lifetime. This is Lisa Ireland’s breakout novel for sure.' Sally Hepworth

'Lisa Ireland’s writing is simply magical, and Shirley’s charming and heartfelt story brought me to tears again and again. The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is one of my favourite books, ever.' Kelly Rimmer

'This moving story, celebrating ageing and all types of love, will leave you with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart.' Rachael Johns

  • Pub date: 28 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781760895594
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Lisa Ireland

After working for many years as a teacher (and a brief stint as a professional organiser – before Marie Kondo made it cool), Lisa Ireland is now a full-time writer.

A few years ago, her husband convinced her to leave their much-loved Melbourne home to take up residence on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. Now she can’t imagine living anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Lisa can be found running (okay, shuffling) along the nearby river track, drinking coffee at her favourite cafes or perusing the shelves of her local bookstore.

She loves eating but not cooking, is an Olympic-class coffee drinker, and (most importantly) minion to a rather large dog.

The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is Lisa’s sixth novel.


Praise for The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan

“With both humour and heart, The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan takes the reader on a (literal) journey – in a Kombi van! – following one couple’s unconventional love story, and examining the lengths a person will go to to right the wrongs of a lifetime. This is Lisa Ireland’s breakout novel for sure.”

Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law

“Lisa Ireland’s writing is simply magical, and Shirley’s charming and heartfelt story brought me to tears again and again. The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan is one of my favourite books, ever.”

Kelly Rimmer, bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say

“This moving story, celebrating ageing and all types of love, will leave you with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart.”

Rachael Johns, bestselling author of Lost Without You


Discover More

Video
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with Lisa Ireland!
Book Clubs
Cut loose like an octogenarian with Lisa Ireland’s heart-warming romp.
Article
How the discovery of a box of love letters inspired Lisa Ireland to write The Secret Life of Shirley Sullivan.

Related titles