Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Addie is a 70-year-old widow who decides to pay a visit to her neighbor, Louis, whose wife is deceased.  Addie proposes that Louis consider spending the night at her house, not for sex, but for company and conversation.   Thus begins a deep friendship that enhances both of their lives, but it is not without complications.  Some of their family and neighbors frown on their relationship for reasons that I cannot fathom.  Addie’s grandson comes to live with her temporarily after his parents separate, and Louis steps in to perform duties neglected by the boy’s father, such as teaching him to play ball and getting him a dog for a companion.  Neither Addie nor Louis had ideal marriages, and both made some serious mistakes.  Their budding relationship feels like a chance to do things right and enjoy their twilight years.  The dialog is pitch perfect, and Addie and Louis are so authentic in their awkwardness and grace.  The first three quarters of this very short novel are just delightful, but as is often the case in real life, those who are not happy want everyone else to share in their misery.  In this situation I’m not sure if we have just a case of misery loves company or if the motive is really some sort of belated retaliation.  Regardless of what the author intended, I hated the ending, which totally overshadowed all the beauty of the previous pages.  I don’t like feeling angry after reading a book, but this book just made my blood boil.  Call me crazy, but I found the outcome to be a little like the movie La La Land, in which the characters have to make difficult choices between two seemingly incompatible options.  Maybe I just want to have my cake and eat it, too, but sometimes I think we give up too easily on managing to do both. 

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