Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrik Groen

4 Star

In the vein of bestsellers like A Man Called Ove or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes a funny, tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man who is young at heart.

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he has to visit his doctor more than he'd like. Technically speaking he is...elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs--not least his new endeavor the anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in--the woman Hendrik has always longed for--he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what's left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with its wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

I have never been a fan of all the books of this type that have been all the rage these past years and quite frankly, I am not entirely sure how this phenomenon of sorts began either. That being said, I truly enjoyed the story of Hendrik Groen, the unlikely hero of our book. 

Quite cantankerous at times, he was still a man with a heart of gold and I loved hearing about the people who lived near him and became his friends. Even though they were a motley group of people who might not have been friends should circumstance not have brought them together, they all found ways to connect and adventures to go on, which I can only hope is the case for me should I reach that age.

A story that had happy and sad moments and everything in between, I very much loved getting to know Hendrik and his friends. A tale full of wisdom and heartfelt tale, I will not soon forget the time I was able to share with these characters.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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