Poorly Written,

3 reviews

Runaway Grandma
by Ann McCauley

Published: 2007-11-07
Paperback : 210 pages
21 members reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 3 members
"Retired widow, Olivia Hampton, age 70, meticulously plans a new future. After faking her suicide , she moves on with a new identity and begins a new life. A haunting tale...can a person ever really escape from the past and start over?" Ann McCauley’s new novel Runaway Grandma will make you ...
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"Retired widow, Olivia Hampton, age 70, meticulously plans a new future. After faking her suicide , she moves on with a new identity and begins a new life. A haunting tale...can a person ever really escape from the past and start over?" Ann McCauley’s new novel Runaway Grandma will make you laugh and it will make you cry. One thing is certain - you will not be able to put it down. Widowed Olivia Hampton tries to escape from the demands of her scheming children and find some well-deserved freedom, but life has a funny way of refusing to let her be. If you’ve ever wanted to run away yourself, escape into the pages of Runaway Grandma. This novel’s memorable characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot twists will make you glad you did.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Chapter One, THE ESCAPE.

Olivia, August 2000

“I loaded my things into the trunk of Luella’s car as she sat there crying silently. “Are you sure about this, Olivia? We can always just go back home and no one would ever be the wiser.”

I slid into the passenger’s seat. “Drive the damn car, Luella! I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life.”

Luella sighed deeply; both hands gripped the steering wheel. The steady flow of the Platte River broke the deadly silence as the Buick slowly purred its way down the service road toward the highway. Her voice cracked with emotion. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you, Ollie.”

I answered softly. “We’ve already talked about this and you said you understood; I can’t bear to live that life anymore. I just feel there’s got to be more out there for me than Andrea and Alex with their constant demands and efforts to control my life. They can fight over what I’ve left behind; the rest is for me to use as I please.”

Suddenly I was crying, and I hated myself for it. “Oh Jesus, God and, sweet Mary, sometimes I get so scared thinking about a life without you. I’m going to miss you so much, my dear. We’ve been best friends for more than sixty years… but you still have Hank and you managed to raise good kids. I know you’ll be all right… I’ll be okay too. I really will.” view abbreviated excerpt only...

Discussion Questions

1. Can anyone truly escape their past and start over? How would you react if your mother ran away at the age of seventy?
2. How did you feel when Olivia said in the first paragraph, “…I chose freedom with uncertainty over secure entrapment.”? How important is autonomy to you?
3. Did you most identify with Olivia - the one who went away, Luella - the one who stayed behind, Andrea, Alexander, Ray or Billy? Who was your favorite character? Why? How and when did you most identify with the character?
4. Were Olivia’s perceptions of Andrea and Alexander accurate? Was she perhaps clouded by grief from the loss of her sister and sister- in-law? Did you ever doubt Luella would break her promise of secrecy to Olivia?
5. In what ways were Andrea and Alexander’s perception of their mother accurate or inaccurate? How did Olivia’s disappearance from her children’s life affect them in the short and long term?
6. Did the story cause you to question assumptions about someone you have may have been taking for granted in your life?
7. Did you like Ray? In what ways did you or did you not find him charming and believable? Olivia had not been romantically involved with a man nor did she expect to be at the age of seventy… since her husband died many years ago. How did you feel about Olivia and Ray’s blossoming friendship?
8. Have you ever met someone like Billy? Do you believe there are some people who are incapable of change? Were there too many bad adult children? In what ways did Olivia and Ray enable their adult children to be self-centered?
9. How did you feel about Olivia’s steely resolve to leave the past behind? How did you feel about Andrea’s refusal to accept her mother’s death? Were you satisfied with Olivia’s attempt to reconnect with her children at the end of her life?
10. At what point does strong personal determination cross the line …and become stubborn pride? One of the reasons Olivia left was because she didn’t want to end up living in a small apartment and dying alone. Did you find this ironic?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

I love to read and I love to write stories for other readers to enjoy. I am humbled and proud when readers decide to read my novels...especially when there are so many to chose from. I thank all of you who have chosen to read MOTHER LOVE and RUNAWAY GRANDMA. I hope my third novel, IT HAPPENED ON WILLOW LANE will be published in 2009.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Soapbox story"by Diana W. (see profile) 02/27/11

It seems the author had some points she wanted to get across the generations but fell short in so many ways. To me it just seemed as she was preaching to me the whole book which made the ch... (read more)

  "Great story concept but writing was amaturish"by Donna N. (see profile) 11/19/09

All club members that read the book did enjoy it, but most thought the writing was very poor. The book is self-published and was very hard for most members to obtain.

  "Runaway Grandma PLEASE!"by Karen s. (see profile) 10/14/09

Our group read Runaway Grandma by Ann McCauley with high expectations. The plot summary had so much promise but the author missed her opportunity to deliver. The characters were superficial, and the... (read more)

  "The book contains several interesting topics for discussion"by Tracy R. (see profile) 10/22/08

This book was very well written. It grabbed me from the first page. The author was able to meet with our club which was a real treat. I highly recommend this book.

  "Very insiteful book"by Mary T. (see profile) 10/22/08

I enjoyed the book very much. It made it more enjoyable to be able to meet the author and hear how she came upon the idea and to learn some things about her.

  "Feeling unappreciated, an older lady leaves home and creates a new identity to accompany a new life! She falls in love, learns many things, and experiences emotional pain."by Amber R. (see profile) 08/21/08

This book was awesome, and I think it would be a FABULOUS book club book. It really gets you thinking. Things can be interpreted many different ways. It would be interesting to see how different people... (read more)

  "An Insightful look into the thoughts of a woman young at heart"by Ashley W. (see profile) 08/21/08

This book changed the way I perceive the emotions and insight of "Grandmas". I was pleasantly surprised at Ms.Mcauley's description of the main characters journey, and her thoughts along the way. I would... (read more)

  "Highly recommend this book!"by Melissa F. (see profile) 08/21/08

This book has a great storyline that drew me in from the very beginning. The characters were engaging and true-to-life, overall it was extremely well written. I would highly recommend Runaway Grandma!... (read more)

  "Believable characters and a storyline that has great discussion possibilities."by Mary D. (see profile) 07/11/08

Excellent book, well written and believable. I really felt for Olive as she begins a new life at the age of 70.

  "How do we face the freedoms that our aging parents need..."by Deborah D. (see profile) 06/19/08

A wonderfully written book that forces the reader to think about what many of us will face...our parents aging journey and their needs and emotions...a great discussion will follow - I promise....

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