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Out Of Retirement

Out Of Retirement - Erica Lawson A really sweet story about a woman trying her very best to care for 5 elderly women that are a handful, but have made a loving family even with their highly variable personalities. New relationships are formed, both romantic and platonic, as we learn about the serious and sometimes hilarious repercussions that go along with getting older.

The dialogue was really quite good. Lots of humorous interactions that kept me enthralled. However, there were a lot of times that I couldn't quite tell which character was speaking. I think that's the problem with having so many characters speaking over each other. In order to capture the back-and-forth, I think the author lost out on being able to differentiate which 'she' was speaking at any given moment. Aside from that, it was very enjoyable through to the end.

There were a lot of really funny incidents throughout the story that made me laugh, and it was a pleasure to read for the most part. At some points it came close to crossing the line of being too slapstick, but I think there were enough serious themes to maintain that dynamic fairly well. Interestingly enough, my favorite characters were not the "main characters" of Caitlin and the doctor Melanie Stokes. My favorites were Doris, Phillis, Isabel and Alice, as they were the most interesting to read about and try to figure out. They also had much more depth to them that made them likable as well as complex. There was much more hiding beneath the surface of these women, and I was excited to learn more about them when given the opportunity.

There really wasn't much that wasn't resolved at the end of the narrative, but it showed there was hope for everyone I came to care for, and I was happy not knowing exactly how it would all go for them. I did have a couple questions, such as being a bit confused about how far in the grips of dementia Alice was. At times the writing suggested she was doing a lot of it out of fun, but then there were more serious times when it seemed genuine. I'm not sure I ever really grasped how much was going on with her and I wish I could have. The only character that felt fairly one-dimensional was the daughter of Doris, new resident of the retirement home. She was a very manipulative uncaring person that I could not relate to, but that was the source of an important subplot so I get the need for that. Mostly, all the characters are well-developed aside from that, and it's here that the author excels. They each had their own little quirks and well-developed personalities, and I liked most of them quite a bit, even when they were being obnoxious.

This was my first Erika Lawson book, and I doubt it will be my last. Although there were some problems with it, I very much enjoyed the lighthearted banter and quirky characters throughout. I flew through it in just a couple settings, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a book that shows women don't stop being fascinating and ridiculous, just because they have gotten older.