The existence of an insurmountable gap between generations is a long-standing belief, but there are plenty of cases where this has been proven otherwise. The wisdom earned by age and the enthusiastic energy of the young make can make for a magical combination. The lessons each have to offer the other can be transformative for both. Fiction provides us with examples of people at different points in their lives forming connections that are often heart-warming and inspirational.
For this month’s blog, I have selected a few books that illustrate this theme. Perhaps one of these will inspire you to forge a new friendship with someone who may be distant from you on the age continuum, but who may be more compatible than you think.
|The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
"Working at the local library, Aleisha reads every book on a secret list she found, which transports her from the painful realities she's facing at home, and decides to pass the list on to a lonely widower desperate to connect with his bookworm granddaughter."
|My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
"Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy...She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories..."
|The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
"An extraordinary friendship. A lifetime of stories. Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. She meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined."
|Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman
"Good Eggs is an irresistibly charming study in self-determination; the notion that it's never too late to start living; and the unique redemption that family, despite its maddening flaws, can offer."
|Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
"Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building...Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. A deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two..."
|The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
"A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness."
|The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
"Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny--her American grandniece, and her only relative--give her great joy and remind her of her own youth."
|The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
"A moving and joyous novel about an elderly woman ready to embrace death and the little girl who reminds her what it means to live."
|Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
"Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom."
|The Switch by Beth O'Leary
"A grandmother and granddaughter swap lives in The Switch, a charming, romantic novel..."
|The Lido by Libby Page
"A tender, joyous debut novel about a cub reporter and her eighty-six-year-old subject--and the unlikely and life-changing friendship that develops between them."
|The Grand Tour by Adam O'Fallon Price
"Richard Lazar is advancing in years but regressing in life. Sent on a book tour by his publishing house, Richard encounters his biggest (and really only) fan: an awkward, despondent student named Vance with issues of his own..."
|How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior
"A curmudgeonly but charming old woman, her estranged grandson, and a colony of penguins proves it's never too late to be the person you want to be in this rich, heartwarming story..."
|The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
"The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain."
|The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
"The irascible A.J. Fikry, owner of Island Books, the only bookstore on Alice Island, has already lost his wife. Now, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose...One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children's section with a note from her mother..."
|Summaries sourced from publishers' marketing materials|
April's Featured Reviews
Hop on the Holds List
1. Victory City – Salman Rushdie (April)
2. The 23rd Midnight – James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (May)
3. The Happiness Plan – Elise Bialylew (June)
4. Beware the Woman – Megan Abbott (June)
5. Zero Days – Ruth Ware (June)
What do you think: Can a relationship with a vast age difference last? Would it fulfill a different purpose than one among peers? I would love to hear your story: (email@example.com).
Until next time: Be safe, be well and be well-read!
So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 3 children in college (and one at GDRHS) and a Samoyed that keeps my vacuum well-employed. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them. I have been devouring them ever since.
- September 2023 — In the Mood
- August 2023 — Time Travel Tales
- July 2023 — By Land, Air and Sea
- June 2023 — Phenomenal Fathers
- May 2023 — Mysterious Massachusetts
- April 2023 — Bridging the Gap
- March 2023 — Spring for Short Stories
- February 2023 — Book Lovers
- January 2023 — The Girl Who...
- December 2022 — Fine Arts Fiction