Saturday, July 15, 2017
The Vintage Springtime Club - Beatrice Meier
Let me back up. Philip returns home to Cologne, Germany. His mother has passed away and he needs to take care of her affairs and decide what to do with her apartment. And he just happens to run into Ricarda, his old flame. Who just happens to need a place to live. The apartment is large and to make Ricarda comfortable, he finds another three old friends that are happy to be part of the 'flatshare.' They each have their own eccentricities and habits. Can they all live together?
I enjoyed the characters as they felt 'real'. Five new roommates creates the same issues for any age - food, noise, rooms - and Ralf the dog. Although this story has been told before from varying ages and viewpoints, I appreciated Meier's making her cast older. (sixty somethings in this case). Their troubles, ailments, worries and joys come from a different place - one with experience. But older doesn't mean done with life. The yes/no/maybe so between Ricarda and Philip keeps the reader wondering until the end. A serious illness befalls one of the five and brings a sobering reality to their shared home.
Younger readers may find this story a bit slow moving. Older readers will appreciated the pacing of The Vintage Springtime Club. It's a lovely little read in the vein of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (This book was adapted to a German television movie as well.)