January 29, 2016

Traveling with the elderly

I'm continuing to work my way through Lucy Knisley's body of work. I just finished her most recent book, Displacement: A Travelogue, and much like An Age of License it was a deliciously quick, fun read with a lot of heart. The other travelogue that she wrote was all about self-discovery as she went on a trip as a (mostly) carefree twenty-something. Displacement was drastically different. In this book, she went on a trip with her elderly grandparents. Her grandfather is incontinent and hard of hearing. Her grandmother has dementia. She's stuck on a cruise ship with them. (It sounds like a trailer for a film when I write it out like that.) Interspersed throughout her narrative of their time on-board are snippets from a book her grandfather wrote several years before about his time in the war. (Those are especially poignant and made up some of my favorite parts.) She is struck by how much they have deteriorated in the time since she saw them last but it's not all doom and gloom.There is beauty also and a sense of happiness that she can spend this time with them. It's a beautiful little book.

Here are a few excerpts:
Phyllis is Lucy's grandmother.
This reminds me of my relationship with my dad's parents.

And this just amused me.

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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