As I've mentioned before, I have a fondness for heist tales, be it book or movie. Well, Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg has come out with a fun caper story, with a twist - The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules.
Seventy nine old Martha and her four friends reside at the Diamond Retirement Home in Sweden. The administrators running the home have slowly but surely eroded the seniors' enjoyment of life, through tasteless meals, strict rules, rising costs and worse. They're bored. Surely even prisoners are treated better than they are!
Hang on....what if? You can see it coming, can't you.....
Martha and her newly formed League of Pensioners gang come up with a plan. They'll commit robberies and have themselves sent to prison. Surely they'll be treated better there! And a little bit of extra cash wouldn't go amiss either.
And half the fun is in the planning. Who is going to suspect five old folks with walkers? Well, it turns out they have a knack for crime, although their plans don't always execute quite the way they intended..
What I really enjoyed were the seniors themselves, their thoughts, interactions and desire to live an interesting, full, rich life despite their advancing age. I think older people are discounted far too often. Ingleman-Sundberg's take on her seniors' lives has a large dose of truth woven throughout. Her imaginings of what they might do to change their circumstances were really quite entertaining. For me, not quite the laugh out loud funny mentioned on the cover blurbs, but definitely charming. You'll be cheering for the 'gang'.
Being a crime fiction fanatic, I had to stop myself from picking apart plot points that were a bit far-fetched in places and just go with the story. Although, I can see this being made into a movie - and it would be fun to cast. There seem to be a lot of 'feisty old folks' films being produced lately.
The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a bestseller in Sweden (1.2 million copies sold!). I found the translation to English a bit wooden in spots and some references may have been 'lost in translation. If you enjoyed The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Window and Disappeared, you might enjoy this book. Read an excerpt of The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules.