Alex advertises for a car share from Paris to Brussels and Maxine is to be his companion. He’s young, very depressed, she’s 90 something but young in her head. He’s going to Brussels to find a friend from a while ago and she’s going to end things before Alzheimer’s renders all lost. So fasten your seatbelts folks as this is like no other journey, possibly ever!
I absolutely love this book – what a mad caper as the pair cause utter mayhem which leads to a huge amount of laughter. I don’t think I have ever laughed as much during the course of a book as I have with this one, it’s joyful genius. The intrepid pair are polar opposites. Maxine is adorable, she’s incredibly creative, her wit is razor sharp and she sure thinks very calmly on her feet. She’s like no other 90, 80, 70, 60 year old …. whatever age she feels in her head, I mean she knows who David Guetta is!!!! Alex starts out so depressed, he looks shocking, in fact Maxine thinks he looks like a ‘druggie’. Their dialogue is witty, clever, and hilarious. Alex feels old in Paris whereas Maxine feels young, he sees the world in black and white while she sees it in Ultra HD despite the sadness and tragedy in her life. She’s wise and knowledgeable although she could be making stuff up, it’s entirely possible!! I love her malapropisms and somehow her expressions fit better such as Fascist- Sisters (Fashionistas. See? Way better). The car becomes a kind of confessional for both of them as she brings him back to life and he learns joy and zest for life through their mad escapades. How big is Maxine’s handbag? It must be humongous with all the amazing objects she produces for it. Especially useful is the rotating beacon which they put to excellent use in a traffic jam.
Overall, just read it! It’s fantastic and life affirming, it’s funny, a little bit sad and emotional in places but some tears are happy tears especially at the end. Maxine is a gift not just to Alex but also to us though he gives her the greatest gift of all. I love it – can you tell??!!
With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Hodder and Stoughton for the much-appreciated arc in return for an honest review.