The other book is about a last great adventure. Even though Etta is 83 (or maybe because of it), she left home to walk to the sea, just as I moved last summer to St. Louis from my hometown in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's an adventure because I've never lived west of the Mississippi River and the only folks I knew here were my best friend Donna and her sister Jane. I did not, however, walk the nearly 500 miles here. My adventure started with a moving van.
Otto,The letter began, in blue ink,
I’ve gone. I’ve never seen the water, so I’ve gone there. Don’t worry, I’ve left you the truck. I can walk. I will try to remember to come back.Otto finds the note left by his wife in the kitchen of their farmhouse in windswept Saskatchewan. Eighty-three-year-old Etta will be walking 3,200 kilometers to see the ocean, but somehow, Otto understands. He took his own journey once before, to fight in a faraway land. With Etta gone, Otto struggles with his demons of war, while their friend Russell initially pursues the woman he has loved from afar. And James — well, James you have to meet on the page. Moving from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty, burnt past of hunger, war, and passion, from trying to remember to trying to forget, Etta and Otto and Russell and James is an astounding literary debut about friendship and love, hope and honor, and the romance of last great adventures.
During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time — and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne — and we, their fellow readers — are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love — The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others.