Growing old is definitely not easy. Old Heart tells the story of eighty-five year old Tom who yearns for the independence he has had much of his life while he tries to keep his adult children placated. Hoping to regain independence and avoid being admitted to a nursing home, Tom decides to leave home without telling his children. He also hopes to reconnect with the love of his life, whom he met while serving in Europe during World War II.
In Old Heart Peter Ferry spins a tale that spans generations of a single family and decades of unknowns. His complicated relationship with his children rings true. His relationship with one of his grandchildren, Nora, is one of my favorite elements of the book. Ferry’s examination of growing old, intergenerational relationships, and the idea of what might have been are interesting and engaging. Old Heart is a worthwhile read at any age.
Old Heart may hold special appeal for those of us in the Northern Chicago suburbs: Peter Ferry is a former Lake Forest high school teacher, and the novel frequently mentions nearby places, such as Northwestern University, where Nora attends graduate school.