12 of the Best Novels About Aging and End of Life

7. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: A Novel by Kathleen Rooney

On New Years Eve, 1984, 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish sets out for a party in Manhattan. Wrapped in her mink coat, she walks over 10 miles around the city, meeting all manner of characters and reflecting on a life filled with excitement, challenges, and romance. Once one of the most successful women in advertising in the country, she has lived a life of excitement and witnessed the changing city through the decades. Hailed as a “love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur,” Lillian may have aged, but like the city she loves, she hasn’t changed entirely. Read More.
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8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

When recently retired Harold Fry steps out to his mailbox, he is surprised to find a letter from a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and has written to say goodbye. At the spur of the moment, Harold decides to say his own goodbye in person and walk 600 miles to the hospice where Queenie resides, holding onto the hope that, as long as he keeps walking, Queenie will live. Read More.
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9. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

In this parallel story to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Queenie Hennessy takes her own journey as she faces the end of her life. While Harold is walking, Queenie is writing, reflecting on her past, her choices, and her secrets. This poignant pairing is unique in its multiple perspectives on aging and end of life–one facing the end of her life and the other facing loss and secrets he never knew. Read More.
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