Lil Olive is residing at the Rosehaven Convalescence Center as she recuperates from a recent fall. Unlike many of the residents, Lil has a very frequent visitor: her nephew Carl. In Lunch at the Piccadilly, Clyde Edgerton weaves together the lives of Lil, Carl and the residents and staff of Rosehaven, showing a slice of life at a nursing home. Chatting on the rocking chair front porch, each resident's personality and a bit of their lives before Rosehaven is revealed.
I had read that Edgerton's books are humorous, so I had expected this to be a funny story about the nursing home residents' crazy antics. They do steal a car and take off on an adventure. And the sermons the preacher, who is at Rosehaven recovering from a fall, writes are pretty funny. But this is not the humorous story I was expecting. It's a story about older people who are watching their health and their independence be stripped away. I actually found most of the story, especially the ending, pretty depressing.
I think the characters were great, and many of them were written to be quite funny. And I thought the ideas of the preacher's movement, the songs he and Carl write, and the adventures in the stolen car were fun. But this was really a story about people getting older and being stuck in a nursing home, with a little humor weaved in. I may have enjoyed it more if I had known this from the start.
My Rating: 3/5
Reading group guide and discussion questions for Lunch at the Piccadilly
This review was written based on a copy of Lunch at the Piccadilly that I borrowed from the library. This is book #1 of 5 for the Support Your Local Authors challenge, and #2 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge.