So Long, Chester Wheeler, a review by Di

posted in: Di | 0

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Lake Union Publishing
December 6, 2022
304 pages

Amazon | Goodreads

Catherine Ryan Hyde has done it again. She manages to write stories that tug at the heartstrings without being maudlin or corny about it.

Chester Wheeler is an old man who is extremely ornery and unlikeable. Lewis is the young man who lives next door to Chester. Chester has one dying wish, to drive from Buffalo to Arizona to settle unfinished business with his ex-wife Sue. Lewis reluctantly agrees to be the chauffeur who will drive Chester (in a 12 year old Winnebago).

I love the writing style in this book. Or, I probably should say that love Lewis’s take on himself and the world around him, including Chester. It’s very wry and stoic but there is a humerous edge to him. And, then there is Chester……just plain mean and grumpy. And, the owner of a soul that was full of pain,

The book is definitely character driven. It is so interesting to watch the relationship between the two men. The logistics of coping with Chester’s health and care issues are mind-boggling. It was eye opening for Lewis. This opportunity had come along at a time when Lewis had just lost his job. The experience turned out to be an eye opener and a door opener for Lewis.

I really loved Lewis. He found his true calling in life. I loved his dry wit. Sometimes he would think something about the situation which might be interpreted as disrespectful. But, this quote explained his thought process:

And I really don’t say that to make light of the situation. I say it to FIND light in the situation.

Having lived through my mother’s journey with dementia, I know how true this statement is.

I think that this book goes into my Top Five list of the year. Truly an enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an Advance Readers Copy.

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