The Leisure Seeker is a touching story about an ailing couple who are determined to have their last hoorah by taking their old RV and traveling across the country (against their doctors and children's wishes).
They are destined for Disneyland and along the way they have some minor problems but that doesn't stop them and the end was sad.
Ella, who is suffering from terminal cancer is a feisty woman and I loved her attitude! She probably wore the pants in the family.
John has Alzheimer's although not full blown, and you can imagine what their travel was like with him being the driver!
The story was funny, tender, loving, touching, sad, well I could go on.
I loved every minute of it and had a hard time putting it down, needing to turn the page to find out what happens next. I really think this one needs to be made into a movie. I could see Shelly Winters playing Ella and Jack Lemon playing John, it would definitely be a hit!
About the author:
From the Harper Collins website:
Michael Zadoorian was born in Detroit, Michigan, and has lived in the area for his entire life. His father, Norman, was a photographer for The Detroit Edison Company for 35 years, photographing nuclear power plants, parades, “All Electric Kitchens,” corporate bigwigs, and victims of electrocution. His mother, Rose Mary, was a homemaker. Both encouraged creativity in Michael and his sister, Susan. He attended the public schools in Detroit, then went on to graduate from Wayne State University with a Liberal Arts degree.
In the mid-eighties, Zadoorian discovered the work of Raymond Carver, which inspired him to start writing fiction. After a few years of working on his own, he decided to return to Wayne State to study Creative Writing. While working toward his MA in English, he was the recipient of the Loughead Eldridge Creative Writing Scholarship and three Tompkins Awards for his fiction and essays.
During this time, Zadoorian continued to work at his day job, writing advertising copy for used car dealers, processed meats, banks, and pizza chains, but kept working on his stories. Though it took a while to shake off the influence of Carver, he soon started to develop his own voice and a style that reflected his own sensibilities. More and more, he found himself writing about his hometown of Detroit and the people he knew there. Before long, his work started to appear in various literary magazines and journals, including The North American Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, The Literary Review, American Short Fiction, Detroit Noir, and the European journals Panurge and Paris Transcontinental.
Zadoorian’s first novel, Second Hand (W.W. Norton), about a Detroit junk-store owner was released in 2000. The New York Times Book Review wrote that Second Hand "may be a gift from the (Tiki) gods" and called it "a romantic adventure that explores what Yeats called 'the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.'" Second Hand was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Program and as an American Booksellers Association Book Sense pick; it also received the Great Lakes Colleges Association's prestigious New Writers Award. Recently translated into Italian, it continues to be a cult favorite, still popping up on blogs and “favorite book” lists nine years after publication. Zadoorian’s short story collection, The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit (WSU Press), features published and new work.
Zadoorian still works as a copywriter in the Detroit area. He has also worked as a journalist, a magazine feature writer, a voice-over talent, a shipping-room clerk, and a plant guard for Chrysler. He lives with his wife, Rita Simmons, a librarian, in an old house filled with things that used to be in the houses of other people. He still loves Detroit, no matter what anyone says.
The Leisure Seeker
John and Ella Robina have shared a wonderful life for more than fifty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and has chosen to stop treatment. John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives to steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.
With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, a person can go back for seconds—sneak a little extra time, grab a small portion more—even when everyone says you can't.
Darkly observant, told with humor, affection, and a touch of irony, The Leisure Seeker is an odyssey through the ghost towns, deserted trailer parks, forgotten tourist attractions, giant roadside icons, and crumbling back roads of America. Ultimately it is the story of Ella and John: the people they encounter, the problems they overcome, the experiences they have lived, the love they share, and their courage to take back the end of their own lives.