We have all read and heard about books that describe the unexpected journeys of a grumpy old man who is charmed into an adventure and those are great books.
But what about the old women? They’re still there, aren’t they? Where are the books about their adventures? With their issues?
I have three to share with you today that are each incredible and describe women who have lived and learned, loved and made mistakes, and are STILL doing those things. We don’t really think people stop learning, living, loving, engaging, thinking, feeling joy and sadness and personal growth once they hit a certain age, do we?
I love the TV show, The Golden Girls, and these novels about women who have led rich and long lives fill that space in my head and my heart where Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, and Sophia keep residence. They are very much worth reading.
The Woman Next Door, by Yewande Omotoso, is one of the best books I read in 2018, and deals with the lives and relationship between two elderly women who live next to each other. They have opposite backgrounds and Omotoso’s writing exquisitely examines each of them.
Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruff, was a quiet punch in the face to me, and totally unexpected. It’s short, concise, and deeply tender. Haruff tells a story about two older people who begin spending their nights lying next to each other in bed, just talking. It is impressive and made me cry, remember friendships and long for that deep understanding and connection, while also writing about how temporary everything is. It’s beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough.
Three Things About Elsie, by Joanna Cannon, was another unexpected favorite. I love the cover first of all, and at times I can barely see the woman disguised in the floral background. Cannon brings us into the thoughts and remembrance of Florence, a woman who has fallen and is looking back on her life as she waits for someone to notice that she hasn’t shown up to something yet. I was not expecting this to have glimmers of mystery, suspense, and to deal so carefully with the issues of memory and reliability that show up more with age. It is worth your attention and is great in audio.
Let me know if you read any of these, or if you have any recommendations for me to check out!
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