The Leisure Seeker

In The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian, an elderly couple, Ella with cancer and her husband John with Alzheimer’s, set off from Detroit in their RV, a 1978 Leisure Seeker, headed down Route 66 to the Pacific Ocean and Disneyland against the wishes of their worried adult children. It’s a perilous journey with many mini-adventures along the way, but for a couple deeply in love despite all life can throw at them, what they believe to be their last trip is truly the trip of a lifetime.

The book is structured as a simple roadtrip. Each chapter bears the name of a state through which they travel. Told from Ella’s point of view, the story includes few flashbacks, and except for those and the slides the couple views most nights when they stop at an RV park, the story is told in the present and has the immediacy and familiarity of one told by a friend as you sit in an armchair listening.

I fell in love with Ella and John quickly and despite having an inkling of how it all might end, I had trouble putting the book down. A friend who knows Mr. Zadoorian told me that the book was gleaned from Zadoorian’s experiences with his aging parents and was written as a way to deal with those losses. The book is fiction, but if his parents were anything like Ella and John, I sure wish I could have met them.

This was book number one of the fifty books I plan to read this year as part of the challenge in which I and a slew of other folks attempt to read fifty books and watch fifty movies during 2012. join us, will you?