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Happy Old Me

How to Live A Long Life, and Really Enjoy It
Narrated by: Cameron Stewart
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

'As long as I’m alive, I’ll be with her, and she’ll be with me.' (Hunter Davies on Margaret Forster)

Happy Old Me is a moving yet uplifting account of one year in Hunter Davies’ life, navigating bereavement and finding hope in the future.

On 8th February 2016, Margaret Forster lost her life to cancer of the spine. The days that followed for her husband, Hunter Davies, were carried out on autopilot: arrangements to be made, family and friends to be contacted. But how do you cope after you have lost your loved one? How do you carry on?

As Hunter navigates what it means to be alone again after 55 years of marriage, coping with bereavement and being elderly (he still doesn’t believe he is), he shares his wisdom and lessons he has learnt living alone again. Revealing his emotional journey over the course of one year, as well as the often ignored practical implications of becoming widowed, he learns that, ultimately, bricks and mortar may change but the memories will remain. 

Part memoir, part self-help, Happy Old Me is a fitting, heart-felt tribute to the love of his life and a surprisingly amusing and informative book about an age, and stage in life, which we might all reach someday. The third book in Hunter Davies' much-loved memoir series, which includes The Co-Op's Got Bananas and A Life in the Day

©2019 Hunter Davies (P)2019 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"If anyone knows how to be happy and old, it’s Hunter. Read a page before breakfast and two at night, preferably with food." (Michael Palin)

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A lovely irreverent take on old age

I loved this and it really made me laugh. Hunter Davies tears into the vicissitudes of old age with terrific verve and outright gaiety. Eccentric, outspoken, politically incorrect and full of beans at every turn. Some listeners might well feel that he revels in being a member of that lucky generation that made a lot of money through property ownership but to this he would just say hard luck! Beneath this attitude lies a real concern to help, for example, nurses unable to find accommodation in London and a tremendous affection for his own children and grandchildren despite their shortcomings and tendency to crash into his house when he is watching the football. I didn’t agree with some of his pet hates, namely smartphones, vegetarians and dogs but that is entirely irrelevant to enjoying the book. His joie de vivre really sold it to me and he also sends himself up hilariously over his consumption of Beaujolais, his wearing of shorts and Birkenstock sandals and his relationships with new women, former colleagues and his resident tortoise. He sparkles through his days with an enthusiasm which I must admit made me wish that my own elderly parents could emulate just a bit! His message essentially is enjoy your life at this age ( he is 82 at time of writing I think), there is much still to relish.

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