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Paperback The Leisure Seeker [Movie Tie-In] Book

ISBN: 0062696866

ISBN13: 9780062696861

The Leisure Seeker [Movie Tie-In]

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Book Overview

Now a major motion picture starring Oscar award-winners Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, coming January 2018 from Sony Pictures Classics Official Selection Toronto Film Festival Venice Film Festival " The Leisure Seeker is pretty much like life itself: joyous, painful, moving, tragic, mysterious, and not to be missed."-- Booklist , starred review The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

deep look at the near end of life

John and Ella Robina have few regrets, but know there time together is counting down. She suffers from cancer and he from Alzheimer's. Over the objection of their respective doctors and their adult children Cindy and Kevin, they decide to go on a final fling together. They leave Madison Heights, just outside Detroit, to head west on Route 66. Their destination is Disneyland. On the trek they stop at inane attractions, eat cheeseburgers, and meet friendly and not so nice Americans. As a show of defiance, Ella tosses her wig away. When his mind is lucid they look at slides of their life together. When his mind is fogged, he drives while Ella has a mission for them in Anaheim. Although the readers will anticipate the climax, this is a deep look at the near end of life for a loving couple. Ella knows it is a matter of time before she leaves John alone, but what she wants to hear one last time from her soul mate is he calling her name. Using humor and an eccentric support cast met while traveling in their RV westward to avoid overly melodramatic inanity; fans will appreciate this elderly couple on their final leisure fling together. Harriet Klausner

A bittersweet tale!

Just because a book is not of great literary merit or is a quick and entertaining read does not mean that it lacks depth or does not win my round of applause. Michael Zadoorian was able to strike a certain deep chord within my soul with his bittersweet story of Ella and John Rowina, an elderly couple in decline. Ella has incurable cancer, and John has dementia. Together they agree, if John is indeed capable of making any decision, to leave Detroit, against the wishes of their two grown children, to take a road trip in their Leisure Seeker to Disneyland. Does this sound silly? It's anything but that. Theirs is a story of love, fear, determination, and joy. They travel southwest together at a leisurely pace, all the while reminiscing about the past, perhaps in an effort to avoid thinking about the future. Declining mental and physical health is no picnic after all. The Rowinas' story had me laughing on one page, crying the next, and running away quickly on yet other pages to quickly copy down some notable quotes. What this author does is hit the right notes. He tells the poignant story of aging with its accompanying physical and mental decline. For a long time in our own lives, aging is a process involving others. Eventually, however, we will all see this on our own horizon. As a result, this book may be less interesting to a younger person, but for someone nearing or in his golden years as I am, this book so totally expresses our feelings. I admit that some of this novel's scenes tended to get a bit repetitive towards the end as the elderly couple moved from one city to another. By that time, however, that issue didn't bother me at all as I had already grown to love this feisty pair. So much so, in fact, that it was extremely hard to say goodbye to them as I finished reading this touching novel.

Michael Zadoorian is a wise old woman.

What a weird and wonderful book. First of all, Zadoorian, although his name is Michael, must be a very wise, old woman. As you can see from the book description, this is the story of an old couple who escape all of the preconceptions of how they should live their short, remaining time on this earth. It is written in the voice of Ella, who you just have to describe as spunky. She has cancer and in spite of it (or actually because of it), she decides that she and her husband John, who has alzheimer's, will, against the recommendations/advice/admonishments/threats and pleas of their children and doctors, take their beloved Leisure Seeker RV on the road one last time to retrace a previous journey over what is left of Route 66. So it's a road trip for octogenarians. Which means all of the associated dramas and circumstances of aging (humorous and sad) come along for the ride. And that's why I say that Michael Zadoorian must be a wise old lady. Writing in the voice of Ella, he gives us all of the wisdom, the humorous and bittersweet insights of people who have lived a full life and now, facing death, take the time to contemplate that life and savor it as it is coming to an end. But be aware, this is not some depressing book filled with nothing but complaints about aging and sadness about the good old days being gone. It is funny, bittersweet, tense and hysterical. Things happen! This is a story that moves along and, like any good book, you keep wanting to get back to it to see what will happen next. Very importantly, there are no false dramas used to move things along. There are no trumped up dark family secrets so often used to create fake tension. The beauty of this story is the normal-ness. These are plain people who are interesting just because we can identify so much with their insights and lives. Their choice is actually to continue to be as normal as they can be: to not be crammed into all of these last minute definitions of "patient", "cancer sufferer", "old person" and the rest of it, and try to do something that for them is quite normal: get in the RV and take a vacation from all of that! Best of all, at the end of the day, you love these people. You come to wish that you could have the chance to be one of the people they meet along the way. Zadoorian gives you that wonderful chance.

In Ella I saw Love

Eighty-something Ella Robina has terminal cancer, so she kidnaps her husband John, who has Alzheimer's, and they hit the road in their Leisure Seeker camper van, heading out on their last road trip. Yes this is a story about a road trip. It's not an Easy Rider and it's not a Thelma and Louise kind of story. There is no action here, no fast pace, no bad guys, no guns blazing, no cars going off cliffs. Instead we have hamburger place after hamburger place, campground after campground. Same-o same-o as this elderly couple makes their way along the old Route 66 from it's beginning to it's end in Santa Monica and on to Disneyland. Yes there is one scene where some tough youths try to rob these aging travelers and Ella pulls a gun, but other than that it is simply a story about a dying couple on the road, going to restaurants, museums, seeing the sights along the way, so why is it so gripping? Why couldn't I put it down? Why is the story still living with me two weeks after I've finished it? I think because I saw my grandmother in Ella. I saw my mom too. I saw love. I saw a character I not only cared about, but admired. I met an old lady with more courage than all the action heros in the fast paced thrillers I like to read. And I met the man she loved, who had for the most part lost his mind, but for short periods of time he was back and when he was I saw love. Even though I knew how the book had to end, even though I was prepared for it, I cried. This story moved me. Reviewed by Vesta Irene

A Multi level love story

This is the story of a couple married close to 60 years; she has cancer, he has Alzheimer's. They decide to take a trip in their camper following the length of Route 66, as their last hurrah. My mom had Alzheimer's and reading this passage describing the husband really brought a tear: "With his mind, first the corners of the blackboard were erased, then the edges and the edges of edges, creating a circle that grew smaller and smaller, before finally disappearing into itself. What is left are only smudges of recollection here and there, places where the eraser did not completely do its job, reminiscences that I hear again and again." What a wordsmith! This story was unexpected in the execution, because one thinks that this will be a cute little couple. But they are strong-willed, have times of yelling at each other, and are very opinionated. This is a refreshing look at the reality of what their situation would be after so many years of marriage. The wife has to deal with her cancer, which her husband hasn't been told about (since he wouldn't remember) as well as her frustration with his ins and outs of lucidity. Their grown children are upset that they've taken off and they must deal with that as well. I didn't foresee the ending either, always a plus when I'm reading a book. The author acknowledges the memory of his parents, whose "lives continue to be an inspiration." Not sure if that means they took the trip or not, but I definitely recommend this book for anyone.

The Leisure Seeker Mentions in Our Blog

The Leisure Seeker in A “Kidnapping,” an Escape, and a Road Trip with The Leisure Seeker
A “Kidnapping,” an Escape, and a Road Trip with The Leisure Seeker
Published by Bianca Smith • January 19, 2018

What do you do when you know there’s an end?

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