Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Age is Just a Number: Novels Featuring Older Adults

The books on this list feature older adults as the main character.  Some of these titles are fun reads featuring older adults who shatter the negative stereotypes that old people are just silly old fools or useless. Many are set in nursing homes or retirement communities and follow the misadventures of quirky and amusing characters. And some of these novels address more serious topics such as; grief, loss, second chances, widowhood, aging, or love and friendship. Great books you'll enjoy no matter what your age!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cantankerous and quick-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors whose chattiness and habits lead to an unexpected friendship.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Maude sinks into a confusing world in this riveting psychological mystery written in the voice of an aging woman with Alzheimer’s. She can’t remember what she’s doing or where she is, but she is fixated with one thought–her good friend Elizabeth is missing.

On his 100th birthday, hesitant centenarian Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his nursing home and embarks on a hysterical and entirely unexpected journey.

82-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. One morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometers from rural Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband, his oldest friend, who has loved Etta from afar for 60 years, insists on finding her, wherever she's gone.

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
 As Poland falls to the Nazis, Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in San Francisco. There she meets Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet son of the family's Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by others, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are torn apart as Ichimei and his family are relocated to internment camps. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forced to hide from the world.

In this delightful debut, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper stopped engaging with life a year ago, when his wife of 40 years died. But the discovery among her things of a charm bracelet he'd never seen before prompts a quest to discover the origins of the bracelet and all of its charms. 

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Widower Louis Walters is initially thrown when his neighbor Addie suggests they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness, but soon they are sharing confidences and memories.
The Little Old Lady Who Broke all the Rules by Catharine Inglelman-Sundberg
Bored with her dull, dreary life in a retirement home, Martha and four of her best friend’s rebel against the rules imposed on them.

Harriet Chance receives a phone call informing her that her recently deceased husband, Bernard, has won an Alaskan cruise. Deciding to go on the trip, she is given a letter from her close friend Mildred, with instructions not to open it until she is on the cruise. The contents of this letter shatter Harriet and she begins to reexamine her life and her relationships. 

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle
The staff and residents at Fulton, North Carolina's retirement facility, share the realities of their lives, from a successful lawyer who feigns memory loss to escape life with his son, to a woman who keeps a scrapbook of every local crime.

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