4 out of 4 stars
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In Senior Singles by Tony Jenkins, we meet Tom Hartley, a widower who just lost his wife after thirty-five years of their happy married life. After the funeral, it became glaring that Tom's life would never be the same. He soon realized there was no way he could cope with living and maintaining their big house alone, so he sold the house and bought a smaller one.
As time passed, Tom, who was also retired, needed to keep himself busy. Hence, he involves himself in many activities like holidays, sports, yoga, amongst many others, during which he meets other senior singles willing to mingle. Tom's new lifestyle isn't without its share of consequences, some of which are funny, annoying, and even heartbreaking. Perhaps he could find love again, but is Tom ready to commit to one partner after being single again? You have to read the book to find out.
I am in awe of how Jenkins could spin a simple plotline into such a fascinating story. I must commend him for making the story relatable regardless of the reader's age, as the tale mainly revolves around characters in their retirement age. I enjoyed the author's relaxed narrating style, which made the novel seem like a true-life story. His use of the first-person point of view helped me appreciate Tom's character better, and I found that it prevented unnecessary narrations, especially regarding other characters.
What I enjoyed most about Senior Singles was the humor in it. I am yet to reach the retirement stage in my life, but this author managed to crack me up with his funny and soothing descriptions. I can't help but imagine how hilarious readers who have reached that stage in life would find the book. The author excellently portrayed the desperation to mingle among some senior singles. I laughed out loud when one of the female characters was almost stalking Tom because she considered him the ideal man for her. I also enjoyed the moderate sexual content in the book and smiled at some of Tom's coquettish moves.
Another praiseworthy aspect of the book is the author's description of the scenes. I enjoyed how he described the landscape and environment of the places Tom visited. The author rekindled my wish to travel the world through his vivid descriptions, and I felt as if I accompanied Tom and his best friend, Dickie, to the places they visited. Furthermore, I appreciate the underlying message of the need for us to contribute to the development of our communities. More so, readers will get some inspiring tips on how to enjoy life after retirement.
For me, the only issue in this book is its characterization. I didn't relate or empathize with the supporting characters as much as I would have liked. And I blame it on the shallow background stories for them. Notwithstanding, I had a good time reading the book and won't hold a grudge for that. The story has a satisfying end, and I find its themes of friendship and romance refreshing. I am also happy to report that I found only a few errors throughout the book. Hence, I rate Senior Singles four out of four stars and highly recommend it to adults who would enjoy a fascinating story about the lives of single senior citizens.
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