The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81

Title: The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81.
Author: J.B. Morrison.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan.
Release Date: June 5, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon

Frank Derrick is eighty-one. And he’s just been run over by a milk float. It was tough enough to fill the hours of the day when he was active. But now he’s broken his arm and fractured his foot, it looks set to be a very long few weeks ahead. Frank lives with his cat Bill (which made more sense before Ben died) in the typically British town of Fullwind-on-Sea. The Villages in Bloom competition is the topic of conversation amongst his neighbours but Frank has no interest in that. He watches DVDs, spends his money frivolously at the local charity shop and desperately tries to avoid the cold callers continuously knocking on his door. Emailing his daughter in America on the library computer and visiting his friend Smelly John used to be the highlights of his week. Now he can’t even do that. Then a breath of fresh air comes into his life in the form of Kelly Christmas, home help. With her little blue car and appalling parking, her cheerful resilience and ability to laugh at his jokes, Kelly changes Frank’s life. She reminds him that there is a big wide-world beyond the four walls of his flat and that adventures, however small, come to people of all ages. Frank and Kelly’s story is sad and funny, moving, familiar, uplifting. It is a small and perfect look at a life neither remarkable nor disastrous, but completely extraordinary nonetheless. For fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry this is a quirky, life affirming story that has enormous appeal. And it’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

First of all I would like to thank Natasha Harding, at Pac Macmillan for sending me this lovely book in exchange of a honest review.

Review: Frank, aged 81, is a lovely and moving character. He was quite lonely, and after the accident he didn't want anyone to come and take care of him. But then, when Kelly arrives at his home, he starts to see there's life outside his four walls. From that moment, his highlight of the week is Kelly's visit and all his life starts orbitating around her. I loved their relationship, how she was so kind but bossy with him and how he couldn't bear to think about the other old men in Kelly's life. And the lenghts he went to, to try to get more visits, it was hilarious.

This is a tale of loneliness, sadness, getting old, accepting the death of your loved one but also of hapiness, finding the strenght to fight and enjoying life, no matter of how old you are. And it is written with tact and the perfect sense of humour. All the characters are special, even Bill the cat. So I totally recommend this book to everybody, actually the first thing I did after finishing is get my boyfriend to read it. He read the first the first page and was hooked. 

Finally, I just want to add a personal note, Frank kind of reminded me of my grandad, aged 89, who spends the day watching tv and sometimes visits his mates in the nursing home. His highlights are when his granchildren and great-granddaughter visit him, although he sometimes ignores us completly and keeps watching the tv, I know he appreciates the company. Sometimes we forget about our beloved old people because they can manage by themselves, but they really appreciate a visit, or even a phonecall or an email (maybe not all are so skilled with the computer as Frank, and cannot read an email, but you get what I mean). So thanks to this book I'll try to be a better granddaughter. Isn't it beautiful when a book touches you so much? 


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