The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A #1 international bestseller in the vein of Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove: a funny and tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man who is young at heart.

Technically speaking, Hendrik Groen is....elderly. But at age 83 1/4, this feisty, indomitable curmudgeon has no plans to go out quietly. Bored of weak tea and potted geraniums, exasperated by the indignities of aging, Hendrik has decided to rebel--on his own terms. He begins writing an exposé: secretly recording the antics of day-to-day life in his retirement home, where he refuses to take himself, or his fellow "inmates," too seriously.
With an eccentric group of friends he founds the wickedly anarchic Old-But-Not-Dead Club--"Rule #3: No Whining Allowed"--and he and his best friend, Evert, gleefully stir up trouble, enraging the home's humorless director and turning themselves into unlikely heroes. And when a sweet and sassy widow moves in next door, he polishes his shoes, grooms what's left of his hair, and determines to savor every ounce of joy in the time he has left, with hilarious and tender consequences.
A bestselling phenomenon that has captured imaginations around the world, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen is inspiring, charming, and laugh-out-loud funny with a deep and poignant core: a page-turning delight for readers of any age.
*Includes reading group guide *

Publisher: New York, New York : Grand Central Publishing, [2017]
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781455542178
Branch Call Number: GROE
Characteristics: 378 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Velmans, Hester


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Kstobo May 05, 2019

I really enjoy these old-people-as-protagonists books, and this one is no exception. Funny and sort of heart-breaking, totally recommend.

Beaverton_JennieC Oct 09, 2018

This book brought me so much joy (and, admittedly, a little bit of melancholy). Hendrik Groen is the grandpa we all wished we had. He's fastidious in his ways, compassionate, and just a little bit grumpy. His "secret diary" reveals the day-to-day hopes, musings, and gripes of an elderly man who lives in a senior home with other residents he finds mostly petty and annoying (with a few golden exceptions). Hendrik's mission to forge meaningful friendships and live out the last of his days as fully as he is able will renew your lease on life and have you in stitches.

PimaLib_SamR Apr 26, 2018

Translated from the Dutch by Hester Velmans, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen 83 ¼ Years Old describes life in a retirement home in Amsterdam. Hendrik Groen points his pseudonymous pen, with much mirth, at his co-residents, himself, the staff, and the government at large by recounting the banal and the eccentric.
Amid the antics of this aging community, Groen doesn’t hesitate to tackle tough subjects like dementia and euthanasia with a spot of humor and much tenderness.
This fictional diary had me laughing out loud. You don’t have to be older to appreciate it, but it helps. I am looking forward to the sequel: On the Bright Side: The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen.

Apr 06, 2018

"Reading" this book on library audio narrated by Derek Jacobi. It's a jolly rousing performance. A great companion for this aging patron.

Feb 05, 2018

It made me laugh and feel sad at the same time. I hope I have Hendrik's gumption when I get to his age and better yet have a group of friends like his!

Oct 18, 2017

Lots of laughs, but incredibly believable at the same time, and more truth than we might want to admit about the difficulties associated with getting older.

Sep 20, 2017

Perhaps I've read too many books with a similar concept recently, but I felt this was a bit too drawn out and lacked the heart that made other books special. The theme was done better elsewhere.

Mar 28, 2017

Really enjoyed this book, so many insightful and thought provoking details about daily life for the 80plus in a rest home.
Loved the setting in Amsterdam North too.

Feb 28, 2017

I'm surprised at how popular this book is. Old Hendrik keeps a diary this year.... a revelation about aging & retirement homes. It felt as if he was a stand up comic trying to do a performance on paper. It was very average & didn't seem very sincere.

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