From the list on older characters who will warm your heart.
Who am I?
As a family doctor working in aged care, I have always felt disappointed by the stereotypical portrayal of ageing in fiction. Older characters are rarely the protagonist of their own story and are more likely to be relegated to minor roles that reflect their marginalization and invisibility in society. And yet, despite their physical limitations, my older patients have taught me that it’s never too late to laugh, love, make new friends or create mischief. Bette Davis once said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Without sugarcoating ageing, I strive for authenticity and humor in my writing to offer a more uplifting and hopeful portrayal of what lies ahead.
Joanna's book list on older characters who will warm your heart
Discover why each book is one of Joanna's favorite books.
Why did Joanna love this book?
I simply couldn’t resist the combination of the title of this book – a nod to Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾, which I enjoyed many years ago – and its ironic setting of an Amsterdam aged care home. The novel is supposedly an exposé by an anonymous care home resident, although the author was subsequently revealed as Dutch writer, Peter de Smet. Told in the form of a diary, the book portrays the frustrations, indignities, and occasional small victories of Hendrik and his buddies in the Old-But-Not-Dead-Yet club as they fight to maintain agency over their own lives. The interplay between self-deprecating humor and poignancy in exploring the important themes around old age had me laughing out loud on one page and shedding tears on the next.