I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A boy scout dies suddenly. His absentee father decides to take on his scout project, assisting a 104 year old women with chores around her home. The elderly woman, Ona, is a somewhat grumpy but lovable Lithuanian immigrant. Throughout the book, pieces of her life come to the surface . The characters in the novel soon embark on a quest to set Ona up as the Guinness Book of World’s Record’s oldest living driver.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a charming and bitter sweet story. The odd but gentle boy and Ona form an amazing friendship. The characters were very well developed and likable. I almost expected Ona to be sitting beside me when I looked up from the book.
The novel begins sadly. It lets us know from the beginning that the young boy has died unexpectedly. It then takes on the stories of how the remaining characters move on with their lives. It also incorporates flash backs for the boy’s visits to Ona.
This novel uses a combination of scenes from the present, scenes from the past, world record holders stats, and snippets of Ona’s recording of her life story. The tape recordings, especially, added great amount of humor to the book. It tells us only Ona’s answers but not the questions asked. As a result we are left to interpret her answers. I found these recordings especially hilarious and touching.
This book is not action packed thriller.It is just a wonderful story of love and relationships.’The One-In a-Million Boy’ reminded me of ‘A Man Named Ove ‘. If you loved Ove you will most likely love Ona too.
I alternated between four and five stars for this novel. I finally settled on five stars. I gave it the higher rating because I think it sends a really beautiful message. We should spend more time listing and spending time with the elderly of our society. They have so much to give us.