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Putnam, Donalda.

Ottawa, Canadian Library Association, c1985. 34pp, paper, $3.50, ISBN 0-88802-188-7. CIP

Reviewed by Mollie Hooper

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Growing old is a subject much discussed in print these days, with the trendy image of old age being a gradual and boring descent into senility. To help offset this picture, Donalda Putnam has compiled in this small reference book, a collection of titles of mostly recent novels pointing up the marvellous variety to be found among the pensioners. Tough old women, retired academics, detectives, comics; the wise, the very foolish, the egocentric, the spoiled; writers and artists still productive in their seventies.

These books help us to see the problems of aging and perhaps show us how to cope. Serious novelists can, with skill and passion, often probe human depths through, character sketches and profiles, the portrayal of cultures that show different attitudes toward the aged, and, of course, through humour and satire. "Perhaps we can find light in these writings as well as delight."

Of the eighty-seven novels briefly reviewed, we run the gamut of the above types. Each review tells us what the book is about in easy to read print and style. The paper is of good quality and the size is very manageable. Each review has a black-and-white illustration pointing up some facet of the novel. A few examples at random are Edna Alford's A Sleep Full of Dreams, Ted Alien's Lies My Father Told Me, Margaret C. Banning's The Will of Magda Townsend, Agatha Christie's Murder at the Vicarage, Daphne Du Maurier's Rule Britannia, Gail Godwin's A Mother and Two Daughters, and Toveo Jansson's The Summer Book. Some of these are available in large print.

If a group should decide to buy in quantity, the price of Sixty Plus is cut by more than half, i.e. $1.50 for twenty or more copies. This attractively bound little book with a neat green on white illustrated cover will provide an excellent guide for librarians and senior groups, or groups studying seniors.

Mollie Hooper, Qualicum Beach, B.C.
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