Lisa Jewell on hitting a golden seam of success in her 50s

Today’s guest is one of Britain’s best loved novelists, Lisa Jewell. Her career started with a smash hit debut novel Ralph’s Party - which she started writing as a bet at the age of 27 while she was unemployed, and, according to her, “totally lacking in direction and ambition”. It was the book of the moment and for 14 novels it looked like her career - although ticking along nicely - would never hit those heights again. 

Then her writing took a turn for the dark and her career took a turn for the stratospheric. Lisa Jewell, it transpired had a knack for a killer twist. That knack propelled her to the top of the bestseller lists on both sides of the atlantic with And Then She Was Gone. That was six books ago and she’s never been more successful. 

I went to see Lisa in her envy-inducing North London home to talk about her latest book, The Family Remains, the debt she owes Bridget Jones and the sequel she wishes had never seen the light of day. We also chatted about hitting “a golden seam” in her 50s, her unexpectedly scary perimenopause symptoms, testosterone overload, and her extremely proactive ovaries! Plus she shares her controversial secret to successfully parenting teenage girls.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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