Traveling with the elderly

Displacement - Lucy Knisley

I'm continuing to work my way through Lucy Knisley's body of work. I just finished her most recent book, Displacement: A Travelogue, and much like An Age of License it was a deliciously quick, fun read with a lot of heart. The other travelogue that she wrote was all about self-discovery as she went on a trip as a (mostly) carefree twenty-something. Displacement was drastically different. In this book, she went on a trip with her elderly grandparents. Her grandfather is incontinent and hard of hearing. Her grandmother has dementia. She's stuck on a cruise ship with them. (It sounds like a trailer for a film when I write it out like that.) Interspersed throughout her narrative of their time on-board are snippets from a book her grandfather wrote several years before about his time in the war. (Those are especially poignant and made up some of my favorite parts.) She is struck by how much they have deteriorated in the time since she saw them last but it's not all doom and gloom.There is beauty also and a sense of happiness that she can spend this time with them. It's a beautiful little book.