#BEDM - 21st: The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 (book review)

I remember when I was younger, perhaps 12 or 13, I worried about what to read.  I was making my way through the Point Horror books at quite a fast pace, as well as some historical fiction, and venturing into the more accessible classics.  But when I was given book tokens as presents, I didn't know what to spend them on.  Walking into the 'normal' fiction sections of bookshops there would just be so much choice facing me.  Which authors would I like? Did I want a new release from the tables in the middle of the shop floor, or did I want a book from a shelf?  Where should I even start looking?  That's when I decided to just take a chance.  Maybe I would like a new release, maybe I wouldn't, but I needed to read something!

Since then, I've always been open to trying new books and new-to-me authors.  I admit that before I got The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 I'd not heard of J.B. Morrison.  It was the book title that attracted me, and I looked forward to reading it.

The book is about Frank Derrick, an 81 year old man who has an accident which results in a few broken bones.  This in turn results in him needing a carer to come once a week to do a few household chores for him and make sure he's doing okay.  The story follows his relationship with his carer, Kelly Christmas, and changes to his daily routines as he recovers from the accident.

Reading that paragraph, it sounds as though not a lot happens.  Earlier this week, a lady asked me what my book was about, and I couldn't answer more than 'it's about an old man who has a carer and goes to the charity shop'.  But it is more than that.  It's a book that made me laugh out loud in places (descriptions of how to put on a jacket when you have an arm in plaster over the elbow, the facial expressions of cats, the best responses to give cold-callers) as Mr Derrick goes about his business.  It asks a few questions about old age (why do we assume all elderly people want to listen to the same music? why do some people speak to some elderly people as though they're children?) and whilst there are no concrete answers, they're interesting questions to ponder nonetheless, as Frank and Kelly share some adventures (bigger ones and smaller ones) together.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it's definitely got me thinking.  A pleasurable reading experience, and that's all you can ask from a new-to-you author!

(I was sent a copy of this book to review but all words and opinions are, of course, my own.)


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