Three Classic Novels about Aging

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Growing older can be a difficult subject for any writer to tackle, but it is also one that offers the opportunity to explore a variety of situations, assumptions, and experiences, all very different from each other. The following three selections are modern classics that help readers understand aging more fully and are novels that we recommend to all of our Caledon home care clients and families.

The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

The book follows the tumultuous life of 90-year-old Hagar as she faces the end of her life. The Stone Angel has been lauded for its realistic depiction of aging and a life imperfectly, humanly lived. The emotional isolation that can come with growing older is one of the primary focuses of the novel, illuminating not just the experience of a proud woman of descended settlers of the Canadian plains, but that of many individuals whose inner strength has been both a blessing and a curse to them in life.

The Twilight Years by Sawako Ariyoshi

In this novel, a young working mother named Akiko struggles to find balance between career and family, especially once she becomes the caregiver of her father-in-law, who makes no secret of his lack of respect for her. The book explores caregiving and the aging process, including Akiko’s own struggle for independence and her concerns about growing older in a world that no longer cares as well for the elderly as it once did. The story will resonate with many people who have had to wrestle with the same decisions as Akiko.

The Forgotten by Elie Wiesel

Best known for his prize-winning memoirs about the Holocaust, Wiesel explores aging and family connections in the novel The Forgotten. Elhanan Rosenbaum is experiencing memory loss and wants to pass on his experiences to his son Malkiel before it’s too late. The stories of his father’s life lead Malkiel to travel to the home of their ancestors in Romania and gain more insight into where he comes from and his father’s early life. The book explores not just the end of life, but the cycle of lifetimes which build families and create history.

This trio of artfully penned books that heavily feature the topic of aging offer readers diverse perspectives on the later years of life. For those who are contemplating aging or caring for someone in their senior years, these can offer welcome insights into the times ahead.

If you are currently caring for an aging parent or loved one and are struggling with your care responsibilities, know that you are not alone. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of live-in and part-time home care in Caledon, a great resource for caregiving families for support and respite. Request more information by calling us today at 905-951-8885 – it would be our pleasure to assist you and help you schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.