LOVE, LIFE, AND LUCILLE by Judy  Gaman

LOVE, LIFE, AND LUCILLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Part memoir, part tribute to the sprightly and high-spirited centenarian Lucille Fleming.

When Gaman, a wellness expert based in Texas, was collecting information for her book Age to Perfection: How to Thrive to 100, Happy, Healthy, and Wise (2013), she was introduced to Lucille Fleming, who had just celebrated her 100th birthday. Gaman felt an instant connection: “It didn’t feel like I was meeting her for the first time; instead, it felt like I had known her my whole life.” This initial encounter between two women separated in age by almost six decades led to a deep and profound friendship (“I had never had a best friend or a mentor like her”), lovingly recounted in this uplifting chronicle. Gaman began visiting Lucille on a regular basis, and when Age to Perfection was published, including a section about Lucille, she brought the first copy to her new friend. Next came an opportunity for Lucille to appear in television interviews about the book; she was delighted with her newfound celebrity, charming all who crossed her path. They began dining out for lunch almost every Friday, a ritual they continued for more than three years, sharing their thoughts, feelings, and secrets. The descriptive (sometimes-overdetailed) prose—“She was dressed to the nines in red high heels and a colorful red and white flowing skirt, a red silk blouse, a string of pearls and had perfect hair and red lipstick”— captures Lucille so thoroughly readers can almost hear her infectious giggle. Here is Lucille, exhibiting her typical exuberant humor, explaining why she always keeps one of her wigs on the bedside table at night: “If I need an ambulance, it’s right there. A girl shouldn’t be caught dead without her hair!” While the author’s frequent complaints about her own mother (a compulsive workaholic) wear thin, the voice of Lucille—with her joyful embrace of each day and appreciation for adventure—will grab readers. Introduction by Suzanne Somers.

Alternately witty and touching; a hope-infused road map for seniors.

Page count: 381pp
Publisher: manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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