Review Blog

Oct 29 2019

The last voyage of Mrs Henry Parker by Joanna Nell

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Hachette Australia, 2019. ISBN: 9780733640377.
(Age: Adult) 'The Golden Sunset' ship is near the end of its life as is Mrs Henry Parker, wife of the retired ship's surgeon. The couple had decided to spend their retirement on board the cruise ship but on this trip, Evelyn can't seem to find her husband. She knows the ship routines and expects Henry to turn up at any moment but failing eyesight and increasing confusion mean her search is erratic. The staff don't seem to take her concerns seriously but a kind couple who are on their first cruise befriend her. Evelyn's long term memory is perfectly good and she lucidly tells her life story from meeting Henry on board the 'Orcades' in 1953 through good times and bad, it's just the recent past she has trouble with.
Evelyn is treated with humanity and compassion in this poignant and heart-warming story from the viewpoint of someone with dementia. I had to suspend disbelief a few times, especially as the ending is a bit over the top but it is entertaining reading for older adults from the author of The single ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village.
Sue Speck

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