At well over a hundred years old, Billy Binns believes he’s the oldest man in Europe and knows his days are numbered. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have coloured his life – and the events that shaped the century – he recalls a lifetime of hope and heartbreak.
This is the story of an ordinary man’s life, an enchanting novel which takes you on an epic yet intimate journey that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on the universal turmoil of love.
This book is very similar to books that I have confessed to enjoying before, such as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Elizabeth is Missing. It follows a similar story of an elderly citizen reminiscing about their life.
There were a few parts where the language was unexpectedly crude. It doesn’t bother me personally, but I know it can annoy some people. I thought I should add that little warning. It isn’t the twee love story the title implies.
There was also a little bit of going back and forth between different time zones, as sometimes you’re seeing the stories of Billy’s youth and other times you’re in the nursing home. Be prepared to keep a mental note of which time you’re reading about because as is often the case with this, if you’re not paying attention it can lead to confusion! It sort of reflects Billy’s brain in a way, so I found it rather clever.
I found this generally enjoyable and easy to read. There was a lot of narrative and it is very descriptive without straying too far from any action – although the “action” is very much of a relationship variety rather than a Bond-esque variety!