cover image The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker

Michael Zadoorian, . . Morrow, $24.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-06-167178-4

In this affecting road novel, an elderly married couple leave their Detroit home and take off in their camper for one last adventure together. Ella Robina has “more health problems than a third world country,” and her husband, John, is suffering from progressive dementia. Despite protests from their adult children and doctors, Ella and John hit the road and head west to Disneyland. By day, they stop off at cheese-ball tourist attractions, and at night they relive old memories by watching slide shows of their previous family vacations. Along the way, they receive unexpected aid from a rueful goth teenager, outmaneuver some roadside predators, get stopped by the police and consider running for it, and have sex. The ultimate decision Ella makes might seem life affirming to some and a callous betrayal to others, but it’s impossible to deny that Ella’s wise, feisty voice turns what could be a sappy melodrama into an authentic and funny love story. (Feb.)