All The Lonely People
Momma Leighellen's Book Review
“These days, like smoking in public, racism is less socially acceptable than it used to be and more subtle. It hurt more than he cared to admit that he might be rejected simply because of the color of his skin.” – Hubert, All The Lonely People
Have you ever wanted to hug a book?!
That is exactly how I felt about All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle. I’m going to sing it’s praises from the rooftops!! This book is not only a 5 🌟 read, it is easily one of my favorite books of the year. It’s the perfect “post Covid life” book, as it tackles issues of loneliness and isolation in a beautiful, thoughtful, and honest way.
The story follows an elderly, widowed man named Hubert who early on comes off gruff, grouchy, and more than a little stubborn. His days consist of talking to his daughter on the phone and feeding his cat.
Until one day his daughter says she’s coming for a visit. Hubert realizes he’d better find some friends, quick, because he’s been telling her for years that he’s a very active old man, when in reality he’s mostly a hermit. He befriends a young single mom and helps watch her daughter while she works. He makes friend with the UPS driver, a fellow immigrant. And he tracks down an old buddy he lost touch with. As he does this, he learns that a LOT of other people are experiencing disconnection and isolation, and he starts a campaign to end loneliness in his city.
“That’s the funny thing about life. Extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people like you and me but only if we open ourselves up enough to let them.”
Told from the single point of view of Hubert, but using dual timelines via flashbacks of his early years, we witness a life full of hope and disappointment. We learn of his immigration from Jamaica and his passionate romance with his wife. He shares heartbreaking tales of racism, drug abuse, and illness. But we also see so much joy. So much life.
This is a beautiful story about life, aging, family, and friendship. If you loved A Man Called Ove or The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett, you don’t want to miss this one!! I listened to the audio on @libro.fm and the narration was FABULOUS. Thank you to @grandcentralpublishing for this gorgeous hard copy.
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