Fidencio Rosales, a 90-something year old retired mailman, finds himself placed in an elderly care facility, (called Amigoland), by his daughter and her husband, after having too many “accidents” and becoming a burden to them.
Fidencio does not give in without a fight, stubbornly doing as he wishes at Amigoland; sneaking cigarettes, refusing his medication, and even trying, unsuccessfully, to sneak out and run away.
His story is paralleled by his younger brother, Celestino, a widower, who still lives independently, and with whom he hasn’t spoken to in many years.
Encouraged by his much younger girlfriend and cleaning lady, Socorro, Celestino reestablishes a relationship with his brother. Fidencio immediately sees an opportunity for a little more freedom and proposes they all take a trip to find their deceased grandfather’s old ranch across the border in Mexico.
The author of Amigoland, Oscar Casares, writes convincingly from the perspective of a feisty elderly man and really makes the reader sympathize with how it feels to lose control of your own body, and the annoyance of having much younger people always telling you what to do.
This book had a lot of subtle humor and a happy ending that I very much enjoyed.