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Lunch at the Piccadilly

Edgerton, Clyde

1,177 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1565121953 / ISBN 13: 9781565121959
Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Gilbert Trading Company (Shreveport, LA, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lunch at the Piccadilly

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In his eighth deliciously funny novel, Clyde Edgerton introduces us to the irrepressible Lil Olive, who's recently arrived at the Rosehaven Convalescence Center to recuperate from a bad fall. Lil longs to be back in her own apartment, and since her driver's license doesn't expire until her ninety-seventh birthday, she also longs to get back behind the wheel of her sporty '89 Olds. To pass the time until independence, Lil strikes up some new friendships. Mrs. Maudie Lowe and Mrs. Beatrice Satterwhite, who are laying bets on whether Clara Cochran's glass eye comes out at night. And L. Ray Flowers, the freelance evangelical preacher with fancy white hair who sings his sermons, strums a mean guitar, and aspires to an even higher calling. Keeping a watchful eye on them all is Carl, Lil's middle-aged bachelor nephew with a heart of gold and the patience of a saint. But soon Rosehaven is turned upside down and the outcome is anyone's guess. Lil and the girls steal a car and hit the highway. L. Ray's vision of a national movement to unite churches and nursing homes (Nurches of America) is embraced by the residents. And then there's Darla Avery's dirty little secret, which could spell the end for the visionary preacher.

Edgerton looks at the challenges of aging with sympathy, sensitivity, and his trademark sense of humor. Like the bestseller Walking Across Egypt, this is vintage Edgerton: wise, wistful, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Review:

Respect for his elders, Southern charm, an ear for authentic dialogue, and a great sense of humor are Clyde Edgerton's trademarks. Lunch at the Piccadilly is no exception. Lil Olive, lively octogenarian, fetches up at the Rosehaven Convalescent Center after a bad fall, but she is not ready to pack it in. Instead, she befriends several of her peers, plans outings which she executes by stealing a car she insists is hers, and starts laying bets on whether or not Clara removes her glass eye at night.

The center of the novel is Lil's middle-aged, never married nephew Carl. It has fallen to him to look after the women in his family: first his mother, then his Aunt Sarah and now Aunt Lil. He is the soul of patience and kindness, looking after Lil's needs, visiting her frequently and taking the ladies to lunch. He befriends L. Ray Flowers, a firebrand preacher who, because of an injury, is temporarily marooned at the Center. Flowers has an idea: "We are about to pronounce the grand fact that nursing homes and churches all across this land must become interchangeable... We need not two institutions... We need one. And it shall be called Nurches of America, Chursing Homes of the United States." In addition to his grandiose idea, he writes music and encourages Carl to take up the bass guitar again. Carl starts writing lyrics for L. Ray's music and, for a short while, preaching and singing rock the porch at Rosehaven. Inevitably, time and the past catch up with Lil and L. Ray, but not before Carl has found a new creative outlet that gives him some purpose in life other than selling awnings.

Edgerton's Raney and Walking Across Egypt are better novels, with tighter plots and more fully realized characters, but Lunch at the Piccadilly is unmistakably Edgerton, and that's not bad. --Valerie Ryan

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