Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reliving the Past

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey is not a mystery or science fiction offering. Mosley tells the story of Ptolemy
-  a ninety-one year old recluse African American living in South Central L.A. His only contact is his grand nephew, Reggie, who is gunned down in a drive by. Reggie took care of Ptolemy by bringing him food and taking him to the bank, while largely ignoring the mess (mainly hoarding) in Ptolemy's apartment. Upon Reggie's death, Ptolemy's care is turned over to Robyn, a seventeen year old girl who is living with Ptolemy's grand niece. Robyn, a very attractive teen who is escaping her own demons, moves in,cleans up Ptolemy's apartment, and protects the older man from those taking advantage of his age and confused state.

Ptolemy, who knows his mind is going, agrees to take part in a controversial, non FDA approved medical trial for memory related illness. The treatment provided will increase his clarity and memory for a few weeks. In exchange, Ptolemy agrees to donate his body to science for further study. The "doctor" leading the study offers a monetary exchange but Ptolemy refuses, convinced that if money changes hands, he will be effectively selling his soul.

Ptolemy's last weeks are filled with memories, heartache, and joy. He strengthens his bonds with those he feels truly cares for him, and makes peace with his past. This was an easy read and full of wisdom about growing older and what's important in life.

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Review by Cara 

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