So Long Chester Wheeler

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Lewis Madigan is, or rather, was, a twenty-four year old software developer. Now Lewis, unemployed and desperate, has the dubious task of caring for Chester Wheeler, his terminally-ill and decidedly unpleasant next-door-neighbor. Chester is homophobic, mean-spirited and totally dependent on external care – a situation made all the more challenging as the two embark on a cross-country trip, Winnebago-style, in service of Chester’s dying reconciliatory wish.

As Lewis, an insecure and somewhat detached participant in his own life, comes to grips with his new lot in life, it’s impossible for him not to be changed by this emotionally-gruelling journey, forcing him to look deeper within himself, as he comes to understand those around him.

A warm and kind-hearted exploration of the emotional burdens we all carry, the strange and antagonizing form their expression may take, and the peace that comes with compassion and connection – a life-affirming, deeply-earned internal wisdom, shared by both giver and receiver.

I enjoyed this sweet and thoughtful book, which serves as a gentle reminder that although each of us, someday and somehow, may come full-circle in our physical dependance on others, our lives remain irrevocably ours, to savor, transform or regret, in pursuit of the choices we make and the people we touch, all the way through to our final and inevitable dying day.

A great big thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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