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Book: THE LAST HURRAH - An elderly couple enjoys one last celebration as they face the end of life's journey. by Carmel McMurdo Audsley

Book Reviews: THE LAST HURRAH - An elderly couple enjoys one last celebration as they face the end of life's journey. by Carmel McMurdo Audsley

star rating  4 stars, 4 reviews
categories: Book, Elderly Couple, End of Life, Brisbane, South Pacific, Cruise Ship, Family Life, Adult Children, Terminal Illness, Cruising, Family Care, Devoted Couple, Sad Love Story

Carmel McMurdo Audsley

Author Carmel McMurdo Audsleyabout this book: WHEN Bob and Anna McAllister are both diagnosed with terminal illnesses within weeks of each other, they try to reach out to their adult children but everyone is too busy to hear the devastating news.

Bob, 78, moved from Glasgow to Brisbane in 1960 and worked as an accountant. He met Brisbane born and bred Anna, a school teacher, a fews later and they married and raised three children. They had been retired for eighteen years and enjoyed being together and taking cruises.

In 2016, after a year in remission from breast cancer, Anna, 75, discovers that her cancer has returned and has spread to other parts of her body. She must decide whether to endure more gruelling bouts of surgery and therapy or enjoy the short time she has left to live. In a sad twist of fate, Bob suffers another major heart attack and his congestive heart failure has progressed to a stage where he also has only a short time to live.

Rather than spend their remaining days in care, they decide to take one last cruise to the South Pacific - have one last hurrah - and not return from their holiday.

Author Carmel McMurdo Audsley said the novella is a work of fiction but covers a topical subject - the right to die on your own terms.

"The storyline in no way reflects my views and I don't have a barrow to push - I am simply the teller of a story that may make you think about your life and the people in it," Ms Audsley said.

"It's a sad love story, about two elderly people who are devoted to each other, and the disconnect that sometimes happens when family members are too busy being busy to notice they are needed."

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 Compassionate and thoughtful

This novella is well written and discusses the difficult subject of choosing to take your own life instead of suffering. The author has handled the subject matter well. You feel sorry for the elderly couple and think the adult children are selfish, but by the end of the story you feel sorry for everyone. [by Dylan]

 A sad story well told

This author has a way of weaving words into sentences that impact on the reader. I always feel something when I read her work. If you think you don't have time for the people in your life, then you need to read this story. As John Lennon said 'life is what's happening while we are busy making other plans'. [by Collette Wyman]

 Adult children take notice

It's a sad day when sick elderly people decide to unburden their busy adult children by taking their own lives. This book is a wake up call for anyone who thinks they are too busy to make a 10 minute phone call to their parents. It is also a great introduction for anyone want to take a cruise - the descriptions have you right on the ship in the middle of the action. [by Rosemary Coulthard]

 Controversial subject

Choosing to end one's life is a controversial subject which is handled sensitively and even with a dash of humour in this novella. It is also a travelog for anyone who has ever wanted to take a cruise to the south pacific. Interesting story about a tough issue. [by Vanessa Palmer]

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