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May 7, 2017

A Sad Tale: The Death of Mr. Punch by Jonathan Carter

by MK French
October 2016; Peter Owen Publishers
9780720618853; ebook, print (288 pages)
literary fiction

George is a resident at Bayview nursing home, and all he wants to do is return to the home where he and his wife Judy had lived. He doesn't particularly like it at the nursing home and doesn't really enjoy living with the other residents. He spends his time getting to know the residents and trying to escape until he finally is able to find his home.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair review.

I found this to be a rather sad tale, as George feels lost and out of sorts throughout the entire book. He is haunted by a childhood friend and preoccupied with his memories of Judy; the other residents seemed to be callous at times and very engaging at others.

The very end of the book actually confused me. It seemed to put the rest of the novel into question, making me think that George was an unreliable narrator.

The drawings interspersed in the book, presumably George's, were a nice counterpoint to the text.

I liked George and was a bit upset on his behalf that no one seemed to take him seriously. If anything, it seems to drive home how little there is to do for elderly people in nursing homes, and how much they long to retain their identities.

Buy Death of Mr. Punch at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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