The cover and title of this book grabbed me. I had to know more.
After all, my dad lived with me during the last years of his storied life, and I knew first-hand how much trouble seniors can get into when they have no plans to go quietly into that good night (with apologies to Dylan Thomas.)
There simply isn’t much you can say when an 84 year-old pinches a ‘roided-up bodybuilder on the ass in a crowded bar, or uses his cane to shoot people at the airport.
So having survived my post-stroke Dad, I wanted to learn more about this Hendrik Groen and his secret diary.
The title is linked to Amazon and there are no spoilers ahead.
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 1/4 Years Old, Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (July 11, 2017.) 384 pages.
Let me just get it out here: I LOVED this book. It is a real diary by a real old codger in Denmark. He wrote it in 2013, so many entries have news items the reader will recognize.
But this book is more than a daily record of news and updates from the old folks’ home.
It is at once funny and poignant and celebratory. It is a reminder that old age and dead are not (and should not) be considered synonymous.
How many of us know old people who complain about their surgeries and ailments? Deadly, eh?
Hendrik Groen isn’t one of them. He can’t stand whiners–and there are plenty to be found in the Conversation Lounge or Dining Room.
Instead, Hendrik is a man of action (alhtough most of it in slow-mo these days–unless he’s on his mobility scooter, then look out.)
In an effort to eek out as much enjoyment as possible in his remaining years, Hendrik forms the Old-But-Not-Dead Club–a small group of eight seniors who stir up enough trouble to solidify the bonds of their friendship, and challenge the status quo among the home’s other “inmates” and its brusque bureaucrats.
Fans of A MAN CALLED OVE should rush out to pick up this new release. It’s a quick, fun read that will have you laughing out loud, sharing passages with loved ones, and swiping at an occasional tear.
Hendrik Groen will not easily be forgotten. Aging is universal. But it doesn’t have to be depressing. Keep laughing.
With this book around, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Foxy Rating Scale – Five Foxes out of Five
Susan J. Anderson
Happy reading and stay young at heart!