There seems to have been a bit of trend for books featuring older people growing old disgracefully in recent years and with Casting Off being set in a Highland care home, it fits into that category. The author recently wrote a great post for me about who he would see in his dream cast were it ever to be made into a film. You can read that here (though please note the giveaway has finished). I must admit I did read the book with those actors or actresses in mind, which wasn’t a bad thing.
The residents of We Care for You care home are shocked to find that new owners are planning to substantially increase the weekly fees. Some residents will be able to afford the rise but others face the prospect of having to move to a cheaper facility, leaving behind not only the home they know but also their friends. The more able of this feisty group of pensioners decide they aren’t going to take this lying down and come up with all kinds of schemes to raise awareness of their plight and also to raise money.
There was certainly never a dull moment in the care home with the likes of Dorothy, Joan, Miss Reid (always Miss Reid!) and Walter around. There were so many really funny moments such as when their protest march finds a much larger rival march for LGBT equal rights also taking place. Innocent Dorothy can’t quite work out why a sandwich needs rights and Joan patiently explains she is getting muddled up with a BLT! Inevitably with the story taking place in a care home, there are some rather sad moments too.
I must admit that I wasn’t 100% convinced by the women’s scheme to set up a premium rate naughty chat-line to raise funds although it did lead to some of the funniest scenes in the book such as Dorothy talking about Tiddles the cat to one of her callers. I found the advice line that this turned into much more believable and the book touched on some important subjects here such as cyber-bullying and grooming – not what you might expect in a book about care home residents.
A light-hearted, enjoyable read Casting Off would be a great book when you are looking for something to make you smile. I’ll end this review with some wise words from Miss Ross :
‘…if you can find love, you must hang onto it with everything you have. Without love, life is so easily an unfulfilled and lonely journey.’
My thanks to Black & White Publishing for offering me a copy of this book to review. It was published on 8th September 2016 and you can order a copy online here: Casting Off The Kindle version is currently only £1.89
From the back of the book
A hilarious, poignant tale of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice – and how you’re never too old to try something new.
When the residents of a Highland care home discover that the new owners are about to substantially put up the fees, they know that dramatic action is called for. But what can a group of senior citizens possibly do against a big organisation? For Dorothy, the situation is serious. If she can’t raise money she’ll have to leave all her friends, like dear Miss Ross.
In protest, the residents barricade themselves into the lounge. However, their rebellion fails, so worldly-wise Joan suggests a most unusual way to cover the rise – a very naughty chat line for men who want to talk to older women ‘in a particular way’! As their lives take a series of unexpected turns, things get increasingly out of control…
Calendar Girls meets The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Casting Off will delight and amuse fans of Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and Alan Bennet’s The Lady in the Van.