REVIEW: I want to say that So Long, Chester Wheeler by Catherine Ryan Hyde was a fabulous book but, for many reasons I find it hard to say that. It’s kind of like saying you had a fabulous time at a funeral. It is something that does not ever come out of your mouth. But…I really have to say it. So Long, Chester Wheeler was a fabulous book. I even found myself chuckling in places. There were parts that were hard to read and parts that made me really sad. This book pulled out all the feels.
Lewis is the main character and becomes the caretaker of the old man next door who is dying of lung cancer. Lewis, the main character, agrees to take him cross country to see his ex-wife. Because it is his dying wish, Lewis can’t seem to say no. This becomes a trip that is both funny, sad, poignant.
We read about the indignity of end of life, the honor of helping someone through it, coming to terms with death. Lets put it this way, there is a lot to think about and this book will actually make you stop in your tracks and think about your future and the future of your loved ones. I volunteered with Hospice for a while. It was an honor I won’t soon forget and this book brought back the memory of those folks to me.
This is a worthwhile book and one I would recommend for everyone to read. I think if we live long enough, it is something we will all experience. Chester was a sad man and lived a hard life. Although, it was one he brought on himself, it should make us concious of how we treat people and who we choose to keep in our lives. Pick up your copy today. It was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I’ve read a lot of good books this year and since I started reviewing. I choose what I read wisely. This book is in a class by itself. Until next time…Happy Reading!
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SYNOPSIS: Unlikely road trip companions form an unexpected bond in an uplifting novel about the past—lost and found—by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.
Lewis Madigan is young, gay, out of work, and getting antsy when he’s roped into providing end-of-life care for his insufferable homophobic neighbor, Chester Wheeler. Lewis doesn’t need the aggravation, just the money. The only requirements: run errands, be on call, and put up with a miserable old churl no one else in Buffalo can bear. After exchanging barbs, bickering, baiting, and pushing buttons, Chester hits Lewis with the big ask.
Lewis can’t say no to a dying wish: drive Chester to Arizona in his rust bucket of a Winnebago to see his ex-wife for the first time in thirty-two years—for the last time. One week, two thousand miles. To Lewis, it becomes an illuminating journey into the life and secrets of a vulnerable man he’s finally beginning to understand. A neighbor, a stranger, and a surprising new friend whose closure on a conflicted past is also just beginning.
So Long, Chester Wheeler is an uplifting novel about looking deeper into the heart and soul to form bonds with the last people we’d expect—only to discover that they’re the ones who need it most.