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Synopsis: 79-year-old Martha Andersson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank. She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Along with her four oldest friends – otherwise known as the League of Pensioners – Martha decides to rebel against all of the rules imposed upon them. Together, they cause uproar with their antics protesting against early bedtimes and plasticky meals. As the elderly friends become more daring, they hatch a cunning plan to break out of the dreary care home and land themselves in a far more attractive Stockholm establishment. With the aid of their Zimmer frames, they resolve to stand up for old aged pensioners everywhere – Robin Hood style. And that’s when the adventure really takes off . .
I really wanted to like this, I did. The premise that just because you are old you can still enjoy life and have adventures is an appealing one. Martha and her friends escape from an abusive retirement home and go on a series of adventures including staying at an exclusive hotel and then robbing it, planning an robbing an art gallery with the idea that being in prison is better than the retirement home with a nicer class of food and more freedom. Certainly in the story it is and there are newspaper articles going back years discussing abuse in care homes in many countries not just Sweden. The issue I had was the ease with which the hotel and art gallery could be duped. If high class robbery were easy then we’d all be doing it. Everyone apart from the eldery thieves seem to be really stupid and incapable of putting two and two together. I have no issues with the elderly playing Robin Hood but at least try and add some realistic elements into it.
My other issue was language. Possibly because the book has been translated from it’s native Swedish I found, like the story, the language to be very simplistic and almost child-like in the way it read. Not knowing Swedish to be able to compare it may be that the original sounds completely different. To be positive the use of short chapters makes the story flow very fast and with the language it is an easy quick read. Probably one for the beach rather than anything else. It’s not one I feel I’ll be re-reading over and over again. I’ve got two other books by this author (purely based on psoitive reviews) so hopefully they will be a little better but I don’t think I’ll rush to read them.