The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Recognizing that the final stage of their lives is upon them, John and Ella Robina, the former an Alzheimer's patient, the latter succumbing to cancer, sneak away from their over-protective children and doctors to embark on an RV vacation along Route 66.


Now a major motion picture starring Oscar award-winners Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, coming January 2018 from Sony Pictures Classics

Official Selection

Toronto Film Festival

Venice Film Festival

The Leisure Seeker is pretty much like life itself: joyous, painful, moving, tragic, mysterious, and not to be missed.”—Booklist, starred review

The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and John has Alzheimer's. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives and steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.

With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their '78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they're having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, you can go back for seconds—even when everyone says you can't.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062696861
Branch Call Number: FIC ZAD
Characteristics: 272 p. ;,22 cm.


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Aug 10, 2015

Loved this book, it will fall under one of those books that I will never forget. Loved the elderly couple, some funny and some poignant parts. The ending made me cry, it certainly makes you think of your own immortality.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 19, 2014

This is the oddly enthralling story of an elderly couple, on their last legs with Alzheimers and incurable cancer, who escape their worried children and endless medical appointments by setting out in an old RV on a roadtrip across the US. I was completely won over by these characters -- funny, spirited and unflinchingly authentic.

dianapoet Jan 27, 2013

Funny, heartwarming, sad, this novel has all the range of emotions that we experience in life.

Jan 17, 2013

Bittersweet story! Great details in a down-to-earth, Americana saga style, first-person narrative. 100% believable characters (I used to work with Alzheimer's patients & their families). An abrupt but iron-strong ending; it challenges the reader's perspective on lifestyle choices for the chronically ill.

Jan 14, 2012

Fantastic, moving, funny & sad. A great getaway for those wanting to leave the ordinary behind. I can see Jack Nicholson & Cathy Bates playing these roles.

appeals to the more mature but young at heart.

thart Nov 16, 2011

Read for book club (10/2010) at Crystal Lake Public Library. This is my favorite book club read so far! I absolutely loved this book! This is the one that has stuck with me the most, out of anything I have read the last couple of years, but especially from the book club reads.

It is a fun, touching, sad, but spunky novel about an elderly couple's trip across country via the famous Route 66. The voice of the book is Ella who tells about her life as they travel from their home in Michigan to their final destination in California. It could be a sad book because the two of them are ill but instead the writer's voice is so good that I never once felt sad just thrilled from one page to the next.

Ella's husband John has Alzheimer's and as the book progresses we find out she is sick as well (cancer) but determined to have one great final trip no matter what happens. They used to take good old fashioned road trips with their children and she recalls some of these fondly for us. Other moments which should be sad are really funny, like when they are camped out for the night and they both somehow end up hitting the ground and cannot get up. Ella is a real spitfire and she makes a fantastic protagonist!

I learned a lot from reading this book about love, health, determination, and humor in the face of what is almost certain embarrassment and could easily become depressing. I was mad at her for the ending, and despite seeing it coming a mile away, I still wanted to turn those pages every minute. Our group had a fun time reminiscing about the good, bad, and ugly things that happened during road trips in our own lives; and thanks to our smart librarian, we all brought along some of our own road trip pictures to share on the day of our discussion which were really fun to look at!

I also got a little education about the American road and Route 66 in the process. There is a great greenhouse near my house that has these giant statues that I always wondered about because they seemed so odd (The Greenhouse of Crystal Lake). It turns out they are pretty common if you have traveled on or around Route 66. Apparently there were a plethora of Paul Bunyan statues along the way, and many of them were re-purposed by local businesses and used for their own signs, like the ones near me at the greenhouse of Paul Bunyan and an Indian Brave. That helped clear it up for me because I couldn't figure out why they had these bizarre and massive things where people go to buy their plants!

I seriously adored this novel and would recommend it to anybody who wants to reminisce about the good old fashioned family trips they had, to think about what it means to grow older with the love of your life, and how to do things your way every step along the journey of life, come what may!

Readforlife Jun 10, 2010

Ella and John, having been married for 50 years, dealing with alzheimers and cancer, travel from Detroit to Disneyland in their Leisure Seeker RV. I laughed out loud and then I cried. This story evokes the very essence of midwestern lifestyle born in the 50's. A courageous, heartwarming read

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Jan 17, 2013

MissVerity thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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