“You’ve retired now?” Father G. Asked, making conversation with Letty. “That must be…” he cast about for a word to describe what Letty’s retirement must be… “a great opportunity,” he brought out, all life being nothing so much as a great opportunity.
I started reading this book in January. Yes, you heard that right, in January. I have renewed it a total of 28 times. Now, after all those italics, I have to say, that I have FINALLY FINISHED IT. At this point, I’m not sure what to say about it. What can you really say about a book that took you 6 months to finish? (At only 218 pages). It was good, I’m sure. I definitely picked up on the “hopelessness,” “human dignity” and “wit” that supposedly exists within this small novel, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Another point to make is that this book is about a whole experience of life that I cannot understand, yet.
Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia all work in an office together, all live by themselves and all on the brink of retirement. They are not friends; just co-workers. As they retire one-by-one, their lives intersecting (somewhat), it slowly begins to materialize that they are probably more reliant on one another for companionship than they realize.
I guess it’s not necessarily that I didn’t enjoy the novel, so much as I couldn’t really relate to it. A lot of the characters were quirky and curmudgeons to a fault; they were more like caricatures than realistic characters. I began to see some of that lift towards the end, but not necessarily enough to be redeeming. I think this is one of those books that I will just have to revisit, it doesn’t work for me now, but I could certainly see it being something I appreciate more in the future.
79% – Not the right time for me, but still a witty, but harsh glimpse of life during retirement
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