The Leisure Seeker
The unforgettable cross country journey of a runaway couple in their twilight years determined to meet the end of all roads on their own terms—a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.
The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and 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 and 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, you can go back for seconds—even when everyone says you can't.
“The Leisure Seeker is pretty much like life itself: joyous, painful, moving, tragic, mysterious, and not to be missed.”—Booklist, starred review
In this affecting road novel, an elderly married couple leave their Detroit home and take off in their camper for one last adventure together. Ella Robina has "more health problems than a third world country," and her husband, John, is suffering from progressive dementia. Despite protests from their adult children and doctors, Ella and John hit the road and head west to Disneyland. By day, they stop off at cheese-ball tourist attractions, and at night they relive old memories by watching slide shows of their previous family vacations. Along the way, they receive unexpected aid from a rueful goth teenager, outmaneuver some roadside predators, get stopped by the police and consider running for it, and have sex. The ultimate decision Ella makes might seem life affirming to some and a callous betrayal to others, but it's impossible to deny that Ella's wise, feisty voice turns what could be a sappy melodrama into an authentic and funny love story.
A sad & beautiful look at old age & dying
This book was a little bit disquieting for me as my husband & I are rapidly approaching the age where this could be about us. It’s the love that gets us all through this life. Their love story at the end is funny, sad, angry, sweet & satisfying.
The Leisure Seeker
As a Hospice volunteer and Respite Care provider, I found this story to be very endearing as it shows courage, tenacity and a will to end on a high note despite all odds. Readers will immediately fall in love with John and Ella and cheer them on to the last page.
Profound. Real. Sad. Funny. Full of heart. Deeply moving.
I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. I thought it was about RVing. Not. It's about an elderly couple, John and Ella, who go on a road trip from Detroit to Disneyland California. They have adventures and mishaps. They reconnect with their love for each other. But what it's really about is being old, very ill, and facing the end ... together. Ella has terminal cancer. John has Alzheimer's. Ella puts John in their 30 year old RV, and they escape from their worried and frightened children, and take off to drive Route 66. Again. Every page holds wisdom, courage, tenacity and love. As their journey confronts them with harrowing crime, near escapes, and pain, they overcome it all with humor and resilience. Their story grabbed me and didn't let go. I needed to be immersed in a story of the reality of being old and ill and in pain, and yet take charge of your life. To live your life; no one else's. Even at the end. Brilliant novel. Ella will stay in my heart. Especially as I age.