Should We Stay or Should We Go

When nurse, Kay Wilkinson’s father, after a decade of dementia and need of high care, finally passes away, Kay’s husband Cyril, a GP, suggests maybe they should spare themselves the same fate. It’s 1991 and the couple make a suicide pact—on Kay’s 80th birthday, they’ll end it together. Three decades later and there they are. But Lionel Shriver doesn’t just give us one sad and certain scenario. We get twelve, and they are all entertaining.

What a ride! Such a morbid subject but goodness, how I laughed. The Wilkinson couple experience everything from living into old age, dementia, surviving each other, the nursing home from hell, and more—even cryogenic preservation

Into this story, Shriver, with her sharp mind and pen, deals with all contemporary marvel and mayhem such as Brexit, the Corona, world politics, healthcare to name just a few. I appreciate that Shriver allows her characters to have their own opinions and the author does not shy away from tough subjects. As always her vocabulary, her sardonic sense of humour, and her intelligence shines. 

I loved the detail of a few characters from previous books getting a mention. Even Lionel Shriver is talked about in an uncomplimentary fashion which made me laugh. Shriver made me think, made me sad, made me happy again and I read this in only three sittings. Some parts were hilarious.

I kind of wished the ending was different, but I understand why the author chose it.

Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver


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