This is the second diary by Hendrick Groen – I reviewed the first one a while ago and absolutely loved it. It’s an unashamed take on Adrian Mole, but the author is a octogenarian in a care home in Amsterdam.
Hendrick’s second diary is just as good as the first one, although now we already know the characters and the friendships, and the story develops further. The ‘Old but not dead club’ are still charging around on day trips and coming up with new ways to expand their lives – as well as causing as much havoc for the management as they can!
We are introduced to some new characters as inevitably there is a reasonably high turrnover, but thankfully the new arrivals do not replace our much loved friends.
However, death is inevitable when the residents are over 80, and the book deals with this in a caring yet amusing way. As with the first book there is heartbreak and love, lots of funny moments, and quite a few sad ones.
To sum it all up – if you haven’t read the first book – please do so – it’s hilarious and heartbreaking and genuinely warms your soul. While you’re doing that, make sure you pick up the second one as well because I guarantee you will be itching for more. If you liked Adrian Mole then you will love this. If you hated him (as I did as a child – i really should try again), then you’ll love it as well.
I am wondering if there will be a third – I don’t know if I want one to be honest. Hendrick is 85 after all. I’m not done with this diary yet – I want more and I want to hear what else they are going to get up to…..but….what’s going to happen? I don’t want Hendrick to ‘sign off’…I don’t want it to end that way. This book has a piece of my heart – a warm fuzzy piece….
On a personal note, and maybe I shouldn’t say this, but my mum is elderly and was refusing to go into sheltered accommodation, and to be honest, I wasn’t all that up for it, but reading the first diary actually helped turn my mind around a little – she’s now in sheltered accommodation and absolutely loves it – and they are all a bit naughty sometimes….
My thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK