Danny, a homeless recovering alcoholic, is mourning the death of his best friend, Pete. Cold and despondent, Danny wanders into Cavandish, a long-term care home in Calgary, Alberta. There he is befriended by Charlie, a cantankerous resident who convinces him to stay under the guise of a new resident and roommate. Danny is introduced to Charlie’s two best friends: Betty, a feisty senior who is more than happy to assist in the deception, and Caroline, who suffers from dementia.
After several weeks spent residing in Cavandish as an imposter, Danny helps his new friends organize a day trip to the zoo on their own. Bouyed by their success and newfound sense of freedom, they set their sights on a bigger adventure. Inspired by Betty’s dream of returning to see the Grand Canyon before she dies, a plan to escape from Cavandish is hatched. Under the cover of night, road trip supplies are liberated from the care home and the foursome make their getaway.
With very little money, no passports and not even a legal driver’s license, their first obstacle will be to find a way to cross the U.S. border. Standing in their way is a cast of characters – bizarre, comical, and outlandish, any of whom could help or hinder the fulfillment of Betty’s dream. This laugh-out-loud funny, yet touching novel is a trip you won’t want to miss.
Woodbine by Frank O’Keeffe is also on Whizbuzz Books.