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The Sisterhood of the Halfways is a loose collective of women who live in and around the village of Westwick. Part mutual support group, part rural mafia, the members of the Sisterhood strive to focus on the good things in life: romance, moderately priced wine, archery, gossip and cake.

 

The exact membership of the Sisterhood varies, depending on domestic crises, riding accidents, divorces, affairs, elopements, deaths, breakups, breakdowns, plus the occasional fall-out over cake recipes. What remains the same is the basic philosophy: don’t live each day as if it's your last, but as if it’s your best.

 

The group began with a casual remark. One of the ladies observed that, according to average life expectancy, she was exactly halfway through her life. The others realised they were in a similar position. Whereas they all considered themselves to be in the very prime of their lives, the simple truth was that they were at least halfway through their allotted time on the planet, and in some cases more than half.

 

They don’t look for adventure, just that life is consistently better than average. They enjoy each other’s company, at least for the most part, dividing their time between the pub, a variety of gastronomic events, and the village archery team.

 

Westwick is in the Cotswolds, a part of south-western England known for its beautiful rural landscape and picturesque villages. Life centres around the Parish Hall, the church, and the Feathers pub. Chair of the Parish Council is Emma White, a vivacious divorcee who drives a large, aged Mercedes incredibly badly and is known as Westwick's most eligible single woman.

 

Other members of the Sisterhood include local school teachers, a dentist, a lawyer, several ladies of leisure, and an inveterate gossip. There are only rules for the Sisterhood: be a good hostess, and look out for each other.