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Lunch at the Piccadilly

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  969 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Welcome to the Rosehaven Convalescence Center in beautiful Listre, North Carolina. Recuperating after a recent fall, Lil Olive sits on the front porch, chitchatting with and rocking right alongside the regulars. There’s tiny Maudie Lowe with her cane that seems too tall; Beatrice Satterwhite, whose fancy three-wheeled walker is a Cadillac among Chevrolets; Clara Cochran, w ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 21st 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 2003)
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Quirky Southern Fiction
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,502)
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Kimberly Watson
Jan 16, 2008 Kimberly Watson rated it did not like it
Unimaginably bad. No story to speak of, flat characters, and a really poor reflection on the types of great personalities that can be found in the South.
Sam Sattler
Jul 23, 2015 Sam Sattler rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-novel, aging
Many baby boomers, especially those of us who are closer to 70 years of age now than we are to 60, are caretakers of our parents. Some of those eighty-and-ninety-something-year-olds live with one of their children and some of them are living in assisted living facilities or in nursing homes. Clyde Edgerton’s Lunch at the Piccadilly focuses on the group dynamic of life in one of these facilities, the Rosehaven Convalescence Center in little Listre, North Carolina.

Carl Turnage became a regular at
Feb 15, 2011 Kwoomac rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
poignant, if sometimes annoying, story of a 40 year old man who is caring for his elderly aunt, who recently moved to a nursing home after numerous falls. Carl, the nephew,was raised by his mother and two aunts and he has cared for each of them in turn as they have approached death. He has a nice relationship with his last living relative, Aunt Lil. The story revolves around the cast of characters at the nursing home. Some of it was sweet. I was bored by the crazy sermons given by a preacher rec ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Sonja rated it liked it
I guess I was a little disappointed. I don't really know what I expected, but there was the opportunity for a really funny book about little old ladies and their zany adventures... what this turned out to be for me was a rather sad story about a middle-aged man without much direction in his life. I loved that he was taking care of his favorite aunt, but I found myself wishing he would develope a little more backbone. I'm glad he met the preacherman at the old folks home... I think that was a maj ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Joan rated it it was ok
I refuse to accept that I am a low-brow because I found little to like in this book. Yes, it won the Southeast Booksellers Association's "Best Book of the Year" award in 2003; and yes, it has a "Reader's Guide" in the back; but the plot was virtually non-existent. The characters seemed like caricatures to me, the dialogue was unremarkable, and the writer's style was pretty ordinary. I saw no passages to mark as particularly evocative or poignant and no word choices that struck me as nailing an i ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Nann rated it liked it
Poignant, funny, and sad.
Apr 17, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
I love reading Edgerton when I am in North Carolina. He is so satircal and witty. The descriptions of the lunch counter selections was so perfect. Sophie used to love going to a similar cafeteria (The K&W)when it was at our local mall and ordering all those southern delicacies: fried chicken, greens, gelatinous desserts, sweet tea.
This novel had the usual eccentric characters and an engaging plot line. The best part of the novel was the epilogue: the lyrics to the songs had me laughing out l
Susan in NC
Jun 27, 2008 Susan in NC rated it really liked it
I forgot I had read this a couple of years ago - I've read in reviews that Edgerton has better books, and I mean to get to those, but I found this charming with great characters and dialogue. I love the way he writes old people!
Sep 10, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for old and young alike. Old folks can relate to it. Young folks gain insight. Funny in parts, moving in parts. My favorite scene is when Aunt Lil drives around with her legs sticking out the front door!
Christa Van
Apr 10, 2016 Christa Van rated it liked it
Carl's favorite aunt was always Lil, and they have a great relationship. Lil never had kids of her own and Carl has been taking care of her and checking up on her for years. Lil is now living in a nursing home although thinks she will be going home soon so has continued to pay rent on her apartment. As the story goes, we find Lil to be quite a spitfire and Carl is a devoted and loving nephew. There is little chance Lil is going to live alone again but Carl is patient with her and lets her be in ...more
Oct 01, 2013 Dawn rated it it was amazing
I love all Clyde Edgerton's books, but particularly "Lunch at the Piccadilly". Would be so pleased to have books with character like these recommended.
Dawn Dayton
Kristen Herrett
Mar 08, 2016 Kristen Herrett rated it really liked it
Delightful story. The changes in perspective weren't my favorite and I really wish I had seen Darla's reaction to L. Ray being thrown out based on her allegations. I did like that it was ambiguous as to whether Darla told the staff at the home when the incident actually occurred (the reader knows it happened a long time ago, but we don't know if the staff was told that).

I heard an early draft of this book at a reading with Clyde while he was my professor in my time at UNCW. I couldn't believe h
May 08, 2010 Abby rated it liked it
funny little book about old folks in a nursing home. incidentally, i used a Werther's wrapper as my bookmark.
Ray Francis
Feb 28, 2014 Ray Francis rated it it was ok
This book is a lot better than "Walking Across Egypt," but no where near as good as "Raney." There seems to be 2 ends of Southern writers spectrum. One is the sentimental, quirky stories style and the other is the dark, "hidden secrets," style (think O'Connor or Faulkner). Edgerton easily is on the sentimental side of the range.

I wanted to like this book, but all the characters lacked depth and just seemed to be wound up by whatever popped into the author's head. For a story that was a composit
Aug 21, 2015 Marfita rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who plan on having elderly relatives
Recommended to Marfita by: The Book Group
Shelves: tbg
This book was read by my book group a number of years ago when I was still caring for a parent (or maybe two - I've forgotten how long ago it was) with dementia so I opted to not read it. I have my own painful and/or cute stories about elderly people and I didn't need more. Then the library read Walking Across Egypt by Edgerton and that was so good that when I saw this book on display I decided to read it as well.
Carl visits his aunt in a reasonably nice nursing home. She wants to go home, but
Apr 07, 2009 Louise rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is the first Clyde Edgerton novel I've ever read and it was quite good. Actually, funny, endearing and full of opinionated seniors who live in a Nursing Home.

From back cover:

"Welcome to the Rosehaven Convalescence Center in beautiful Listre, North Carolina. Recuperating after a recent fall, Lil Olive sits on the front porch, chitchatting with and rocking right alongside the regulars. There's tiny Maudie Lowe, with her cane that seems too tall; Beatrice Satterwhite, whose fancy three-wheeled
May 07, 2010 Steph rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
What a great book. A lighthearted, easy going and insightful story of nephew devoted to his aging aunt.

Aunt Lil has taken a spill and is recovering in the local rest home. Her nephew, Carl, is respectful of his elders and always there to lend a hand. He takes Aunt Lil out to lunch with her friends, helps with financial details, and sometimes attempts to talk about tough topics like Aunt Lil giving up her driver's license.

Carl, meanwhile, hasn't started his life in some ways. He's just now thin
Apr 25, 2012 Mallory rated it liked it
When I first ordered this book from the library I thought it was going to be based in London, England since it’s called “Lunch at the Piccadilly”, so I was in for quite a surprise when I started reading and it was about a nursing home in the southern US! Misplaced expectations aside I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this book. I don’t have any experience as a caretaker for an older relative so I’ve never really thought about the issues and the guilt surrounding that position. I think ...more
Jan 02, 2008 Cynthia rated it liked it
Really I give it a 3 1/2

What I enjoyed about this novel were all the funny, quirky (many true)comments from Aunt Lil, Maudie, Mr. Flowers, Beatrice, and Clara. The tangents and the out of no where questions kept the topics (aging, nursing homes, and loss of independence and functions) from being too depressing. Some of my favorite moments was the initial driving scene (why are my feet outside?), stealing the car and wanting to buy a flag for Mr. Flower's movement, the escalator, William and Lee
Gail Jeidy
Mar 10, 2009 Gail Jeidy rated it liked it
For anyone reading these, a note: I'm penning these reviews to help me with my writing -- what I like, don't like, what stays with me after a read. Maybe it will help you too. I found this title on a reading list for a writing seminar in Wisconsin that I didn't attend (a good place for recommendations!) This is the story of a middle-aged bachelor, Carl, who patiently looks after his Aunt Lil at a convalescent center. Aunt Lil wants to go home and not give up driving. (A side note: Lilly and Carl ...more
Jann Barber
Jul 12, 2010 Jann Barber rated it liked it
My mom is living in the memory unit of a retirement community, and she has stroke-related dementia. I liked this book because I felt that the conversations and events have occurred at retirement centers everywhere. The story is bittersweet, and while I laughed at many incidents, I also teared up several times. Whether or not you enjoy this book will depend on your age and your interactions with your own family, especially older members.

The story is set in North Carolina, and that is where I was
May 17, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it
If you want to read a book that rambles around. and comes out further down the road this would be it. No plot twists or crimes solved. Really a relaxing Sunday sumner afternoon kind of read..In a minute the charaters jump off the page in full life living color. Then again I livei in NC & know. some of these folks.
Jan 23, 2016 Anna rated it liked it
This book was kind of 'drifty,' but I think it well portrayed the life of the nursing home people. It was bits and pieces of life and conversation that didn't always make sense, but perhaps was accurate of the elderly residents. I love how the nephew visited with the old people and cared for them. Really sweet, overall, if a bit quirky.
Nov 22, 2015 esterb added it
Shelves: read-2007
Edgerton once again made me laugh and cry. His writing style is normally funny, warm and subtle, and in this book this is no different. When you finish the story you wish you could meet the characters in person and have that lunch at the Piccadilly. ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Leslie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 100books2013
There are a lot of good things about this book: I liked the subject and the way it pointed out the challenges of making good decisions about the aging in our society and I also liked some of the characters and their attitudes. But the story just didn't have the true Edgerton magic: it felt like he was writing about a subject that he was not completely attuned to and the heart just wasn't there. So I felt a little distant from the characters, even though I have been in the situation of taking car ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Margaret rated it it was ok
A fun read set at the Rosehaven Convalescence Center in North Carolina. Most of the time they sit out out on the porch and talk about each other. Aunt Lil is there because of a recent fall and is anxious to go back to her apartment and to drive again. Her Nephew Carl visits quite often and takes her to lunch at the Piccidilly, a true Southern buffet. He is even brave enough to take three of the ladies shoe shopping. Brother flowers, an evangelical preacher has a plan to combine nursing homes and ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amusing, engrossing, about real people. charming quick read. Clyde Edgerton writes about nice people who handle life's ups and downs with grace
Jun 04, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book. I remember “Walking Across Egypt” as a laugh-out-loud belly laugh book, and perhaps I was expecting too much with this one. Carl, a middle-aged bachelor, spends a lot of time with his Aunt Lil who is a patient at the Rosehaven Convalescence Center. He also visits with the other patients, among them Mr. L. Ray Flowers, a long-winded evangelical preacher. Flowers thinks that nursing homes and churches should unite – a national group called “Nurches of America, Chur ...more
Anyone who has spent much time visiting or working in a senior assisted living center will readily identify with the many colorful characters in Clyde Edgerton's "Lunch at the Piccadilly." His novel is a blend of southern charm and eccentricity, laced with humor and moments of serious considerations surrounding the realities of aging, losing one's independence, physical limitations, and dementia; bitter and sweet, with a touch of salty southern grit. Overall, a delightful read, just shy of four- ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Judy rated it it was ok
Isn't my kind of book. Flat, sad, and predictable.
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Clyde Edgerton is widely considered one of the premier novelists working in the Southern tradition today, often compared with such masters as Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor.

Although most of his books deal with adult concerns--marriage, aging, birth and death--Edgerton's work is most profoundly about family. In books such as Raney, Walking Across Egypt, The Floatplane Notebooks, and Killer Dill
More about Clyde Edgerton...

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