by Brooke Davis
Publish date: January 27, 2015 (first published on June 24, 2014)
How did I get a copy? From Penguin House’s First Read program
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ (3.5)
Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.
Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.
Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.
Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.
This book is weird, bizarre, and strangely wonderful. This was a constant thought throughout my reading. How else to explain a girl who has a journal of Dead Things, a man who types every word he says with his fingers, and a woman who has holed herself up in her home seven years before after her husband died. No matter how crazy the characters were, however, they were still lovable.
When we first meet Millie, her mom has brought her to a department store, brings her to the ladies underpants section and leaves her. After a couple days of waiting for her mom to come back and get her, she enlists the help of Karl the Touch Typist who she met, and they begin an adventure with Agatha from across the street.
This book was both funny and heartbreaking. All the characters are dealing with loss in some form, but on their journey, they learn to be happy again.
The language in the book bothered me, I’ll be honest. In some places it confused me, because I couldn’t figure out at first if it was a flashback or present. Once I adjusted to the tone of the book, it was easier to figure out. I am still trying to figure out if I like the tone it was written in or not. It definitely seemed original to me, and might be one of those books that you either like or dislike.
But you should be able to hug all the mums who aren’t yours, because some people don’t have mums and what are they supposed to do with all the hugs they have?