by: Dan Mooney
Published by:Park Row
A curmudgeon and his eccentric new roommate join together to plan an epic escape in this charming, poignant tale.
Joel lives in a nursing home, and he’s not one bit happy about it. He hates being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. He’s fed up with life and begins to plan a way out when his new roommate, a retired soap opera actor named Frank, moves in and turns the nursing-home community upside down.
Though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, a fast friendship is formed when Frank is the only one who listens to and stands up for Joel. When he tells Frank about his burgeoning plan, they embark together on a mission to find the perfect escape, and along the way will discover that it’s never too late for new beginnings.
Filled with colorful characters, sparkling humor and deep emotion, The Great Unexpected is the story of friendship, finding oneself later in life and experiencing newfound joy in the most unexpected places.
As odd as it sounds, some of my favorite characters are grumpy. Grumpy people that turn out to be not so bad after all (once you take the time to understand them). This was true in ‘A Man Called Ove’, and it’s true in ‘The Great Unexpected.’
Adult one on one friendship is something that adds a wonderful aspect to a storyline. This was one of the things that originally attracted to the book. So from the start, I was rooting for Joel and Frank’s friendship to blossom.
From the beginning, I could tell that both Joel and Frank were very special characters. Franks’s bright and friendly personality contrasts with Joel’s blue mood. Although the story did stall a little in the middle, loving both Frank and Joel kept me going. Even when the subplot of Frank taking Joel on adventures to help him enjoy life a little more became evident, I still wanted to know what Frank was going to do next.
I also loved how the details of Frank and Joel’s life were revealed to each other little by little. This would be true in a real friendship. I particularly loved some of the little details of Frank’s life. For example his love of scarfs and his years as an actor on ‘Glory Days.’
‘The Great Unexpected’, is a wonderful slice of life story. It sheds light on the fact that one’s twilight years don’t need to be lonely or sad.
This was a wonderful book about grief and loss, joy and friendship, love and knowing when to move on. Frank is one of my favorite characters of all time. I will remember the wonderful characters from, ‘The Great Unexpected,’ for quite some time.
*I would love to know if the author purposely gave Frank and Joel the last name of two early US presidents (Adams and Monroe).