Sunday, December 7, 2008

Seven: The Leisure Seeker - Michael Zadoorian

How many Route 66 diners are there between Illinois & California? Retirees John & Ella start out on a trek from their home in Michigan to Disneyland in California with that question in mind. As they journey across the country, Ella reflects on their life together and past vacations with their kids. John suffers from Alzheimer's, but is coherent enough to drive their RV. Ella is suffering from cancer and has decided to stop any kind of treatment. Along the way, John & Ella end up befriending a young couple, pulling a gun on two bandits while waiting for the auto club and riding the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica pier.

Based on Michael Zadoorian's own experience with his parents, this book is full of witty prose and heartfelt anecdotes that all of us can relate to in one way or another.

Zadoorian, Michael. The Leisure Seeker. William Morrow (2009). 288 pages. ISBN 0061671789
I picked up this book from one of the give-away shelves at work because of a gut feeling that the book would be a good read. Plus I do like reading travel stories. What I didn't expect was how personal and touching the story was going to be. My grandfather suffers from some dementia and we have history of cancer in our family as well. I kept going back and forth between feeling sad for Ella and John and admiring them for their love for each other. The ending is definitely not what I expected, but if Zadoorian had ended it any other way I probably would have been disappointed. Very easy read and another hard to put down book.

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