Thursday, May 13, 2010
My Book Review of “The Leisure Seeker” by Michael Zadoorian
John and Ella Robina have shared a wonderful life for more than fifty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from Cancer and has chosen to stop treatment. John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from their adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives. They steal away from their home in suburban Detroit for a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.
With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a hard time remembering. Ella is determined to prove that when it comes to life, a person can go back for seconds while sneaking a little extra time and grabbing a small portion more, even when everyone says you can't.
Darkly observant, told with humor, affection, and a touch of irony, The Leisure Seeker is an odyssey through the ghost towns, deserted trailer parks, forgotten tourist attractions, giant roadside icons, and crumbling back roads of America. Ultimately it is the story of Ella and John, the people they encounter, the problems they overcome, the experiences they have lived, the love they share and their courage to take back the end of their own lives.
When you were growing up, did you and your family go on vacation across the country? My family did in a car. It was a great time for the most part. I felt free and happy while doing it on the open road. If I had been old enough, I would probably have thought of it as an escape from the everyday routines and mundane, unpleasant realities of life. As I decided to read this book, I wanted to read a story filled with adventure, funny stories and dealing with tough subject matter that was not too depressing. With the premise above, I felt “The Leisure Seeker” was a first person account of adventure filled with a lot of comedy, a little sadness and just the right amount of realism. Michael Zadoorian tells an amazing story told from Ella Robina’s point of view. You felt like you were riding along with them in their Leisure Seeker RV experiencing what they were doing at every turn. This story is “Fried Green Tomatoes meets “Driving Miss Daisy” meets “The Notebook” all rolled into one story.
I believe that if you are looking for a raw honest assessment of life through the mind of an elderly woman you will enjoy this book. Ella curses sporadically throughout their adventures. She uses G. D. the most often. If you are looking for a Christian story with no salty language this is not the one for you. But if you do, I believe you are missing out on an unforgettable story and quite possibly a life changing one because of how it looks at a Cancer victim and her prince with Alzheimer’s.
While I did not like the predictable ending and the unnecessary cursing, I believe this is a great adventure story filled with truths learned when dealing with elderly parents who escape to live and breathe. I can understand this story from the older children’s prospective also because I have had several family members who also had Alzheimer’s. I also have felt the fear and smothering effects of Cancer told by friends and family who have now died or still are survivors of a powerful disease.
I am glad that I read The Leisure Seeker and give it 4 out of 5 stars.