Beyond Beige: A Woman’s Illustrated Story of Old Age


When Sylvie Boulay realised, she belonged to the demographic known and discussed as ‘the elderly’ she, like many before her, wondered how this could possibly have occurred. After all, it was not so long ago, that she was leaving Paris, a brand new degree in hand, to commence a fresh new life in London.

After two marriages, two divorces, a Granddaughter, a stellar career, and a close acquaintance with Cancer later, her life more than part way through, she decided to write about what aging really means.

This set off a train of thought that resulted in the various aspects of ‘growing up’ presenting in cartoon format, a medium she had always been interested in, which then led to a short, but very entertaining, no-holds-barred book on exactly what ‘being elderly’ means to her.

Funny in parts, heart-wrenching in others, deeply thoughtful and very true Beyond Beige tells it like it really is, warts and all! From realising early in the numbers game that words so familiar tend to vanish at will, only to return when not needed, bladders, not the sort found in footballs, certainly do not perform as well as they used to, loneliness is something to accept and learn to treasure as the alternative does not come into consideration.

As the years pass it is often considered, by those who seriously do not know, that to grow old means to lose the enthusiasm for life, to slowly fade away into obscurity, to lose all the colours and flavours that are such an integral component of life; Sylvie Boulay gives voice to repudiate this falsity on behalf of all the many women who do manage to live a vibrant and anything but ‘beige’ coloured life into seriously ripe old age.

Cartoons illustrate to perfection the often frustrating aspects of slowing down, the irony of once being ahead of technology to now lagging sadly behind, friendships are now considered few and precious, with some lovely homilies to remind you that no matter what, you are still very much you.

Funny, witty, wise, and irreverent Beyond Beige is perfect for anyone who needs a gentle reminder that it is more than definitely alright, to grow into being ‘elderly’ full steam ahead with as much flamboyance as you desire – after all the alternative really does not bear thinking about!

Author                            Sylvie Boulay
Publisher                        Ortus Press
ISBN                              978-1911383888
Distributor                      Amazon UK
Released                        March 2024
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Review By Janet Mawdesley



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