The #Bookvent Calendar 2018: Day 1

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2018 

Day one in my #bookvent countdown sees me celebrating a book which is the second one in a series featuring a protagonist that I adore. He is old, he is often maudlin and, at the end of book one, he suffered a setback which brought a tear to my eye and sees him rejoin us suffering from more than a little melancholy. But, as with all good heroes, he is down but not yet out. Back to tear up the streets once again on his souped up mobility scooter, both author and protagonist, my day one #bookvent choice is

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On The Bright Side:

The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

Eighty-five-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo.
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Along with fellow members of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he embarks on a wild spree of octogenarian anarchy. But the home’s director will not stand for any more drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks or geriatric romance. The good name of the care home will not be disgraced.

But when Hendrik learns of a plan to close the home down he realises life outside it could be much worse. He and the gang must stop the closure before it’s too late. Or drop dead trying . . . 

I have never had a Grandad. Two very lovely Grannies, but never a Grandpa. I think that if I did, I’d want him to be just like Hendrik. Often comedic, more often moving, and a book which almost choked me up as I lay in bed reading some of the final chapters, Hendrik Groen’s diaries chart a year in a life of one of the founding members of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club. Navigating life in the nursing home that he and his friends call home, Hendrik’s tales are poignant and relatable, even to someone who hasn’t ye reached the middle of their forties. If I ever end up in a home, I want to remind myself to still have fun, just like Hendrik and his friends do. If you haven’t yet read the first Secret Diary then I thoroughly recommend it, but this one just struck me down, the ending so hard to take even though, given the age of the inhabitants of Hendrik’s world, there is an inevitability about all that happens. If you can read both books and not end up in tears then you simply have no soul.

You can read my review of On The Bright Side right here, and purchase the book from the following retailers.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Waterstones

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Happy #bookvent reading all

JL

One thought on “The #Bookvent Calendar 2018: Day 1

  1. Pingback: Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 02/12/18 – Jen Med's Book Reviews

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