Flying The Nest by Joy Norstrom

J. L. Harland • June 20th, 2021

Flying the Nest by Joy Norstrom is a humorous look at life in a retirement home. Whoever would guess that assisted living would be quite like this?

Chad MacEwan feels a failure in life. He has a boring job in a call centre, his wife has left him, and his social life is non-existent. He can’t help contrasting himself with his uncle Martin, a resident at Eldernest Assisted Living Lodge. Martin is a hit with the ladies, living a full and seemingly active sex life.

On his weekly visit to the Nest, Chad spots Lila, one of the staff at the Lodge, and becomes entranced by her. He is too shy to make advances at first. He seeks his uncle’s advice and eventually starts a relationship with Lila and her daughter Quinn – a rollercoaster of a relationship fraught with insecurities.

As Chad’s love life improves Martin’s becomes more complicated as he seems to be juggling between two women – Felicity and Clara. Add Rosie, a feral cat, Martin’s male friends who want to do online dating and you have a romp of a story.

Although this is essentially an entertaining story which will bring many a smile to the reader’s face, it also raises questions about ageing and assumptions about how older people are perceived by society.

The final chapter, a glimpse of what happened before the story started, is a touch of pathos in this uplifting story which examines family connections, sexuality, ageing and living in a community. Well rounded characters, a fast pace and a comic, but caring, look at relationships between the ages and the importance of connections.

Joy Norstrom’s second novel, Flying the Nest, was published by Dixi Books in 2020.

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