Lunch at the Piccadilly (Edgerton, Clyde)

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9781565121959: Lunch at the Piccadilly (Edgerton, Clyde)
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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.

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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

From the Back Cover:

"Graceful and often painfully funny . . . Among the delights here are the smart dialogue, the pointed satire . .. and most of all, the chorus of idiosyncratic, opinionated characters."
- The New York Times Book Review

"A DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE TALE THAT BRIMS WITH COMPASSION AND WISDOM, weaving laugh-out-loud set pieces with infinitely tender observations about the human condition. . . . Once again, Edgerton has crafted a little treasure of a novel - funny, wistful, packed with truth and humanity."
- Charlotte Observer

"[A] Southern tale-spinning master . . . The bonus of the novel is its vintage sense of humor - trademark Edgerton - strewn throughout the story."
- Rocky Mountain News

"[Edgerton's] characters' love of life shines in the joy of their talk, which makes even their sorrows glow with art."
- The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

"A vivid and affecting portrait of the way many of us struggle - and, when possible, take comfort - in the real world."
- People

"A zany tale about old folks and those who love them . . . Honor and respect abide in this gentle tale of the twilight time."
- Southern Living

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345476784: Lunch at the Piccadilly (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0345476786 ISBN 13:  9780345476784
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2004
Softcover

9781616206277: Lunch at the Piccadilly

Algonq..., 2015
Softcover

9781587245336: Lunch At The Piccadilly

Wheele..., 2003
Hardcover

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Book Description Condition: New. 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. Seller Inventory # 9781565121959

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