Whoever would have thought that a diary of an old man living in a Dutch care home would become an international bestseller. Not me, that is, until I started to read it!
Now 85, Hendrik is back with an update of his continuing eventful life, despite losing many of his friends to death and dementia. With unfailing optimism, he hopes that he will be able to record life at least until the end of the year. With events such as the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the unexplained appearance of fruit around the care home, we are kept up to date with all the excitement.
There are more wonderful characters to get to know in this book and it gives hope that getting old does not sap the fun out of life. Some residents are cruel and vindictive and make it their mission to upset the others, but it shows that life in a care home is the same as in any community, but the problems of memory and mobility add to the confusion.
This is a “laugh out loud” book. I want to read bits out to anyone who is listening; I want to share the jokes and anecdotes. Really, I want to join The Old-but-not-dead-club who strive to enjoy their limited lives.
Hendrik rails against the rules, races his mobility scooter, drinks gin with his best friend Evert and is not averse to a little romance.
The diary mechanic can be an easy option for a writer, but this is a sure fire hit for Hendrik. This sequel to the first book which was received with massive acclaim, is just as entertaining, in fact, more so as we have grown to love Hendrik. Long may he live and hopefully does not pop his clogs for a while yet.
On the Bright Side is published by Michael Joseph on 11th January 2018 in hardback RRP £12.99