Recessional: A Novel

by James A. Michener

Hardcover, 1994



Fiction. Literature. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:In this remarkable novel, Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener draws on his unparalleled gift for storytelling, his deep understanding of American society, and his own life experiences to illuminate the challenges of aging and the folly of youth. As the new director of a Florida retirement home known as the Palms, Andy Zorn suffers no shortage of loving support from his “elders,” a group of five passionate, outspoken residents. Still, Andy’s shortcomings tear him apart. But when he meets an extraordinary young woman who has been forced to rebuild her life after suffering crippling injuries, he finds himself falling in love. And with a few gentle jabs from his more mature friends, he discovers a wonderful new purpose in life. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.   Praise for Recessional   “The best moments in the novel occur when the characters disclose what’s in their hearts and minds with rueful, snappy humor.”—The New York Times Book Review   “Michener hooks you with wonderfully humorous scenes. These are then interwoven between the moments of pain and heartache brought about by life choices we all must make.”—Tulsa World   “Engaging . . . One will be drawn into the novelist’s world. . . . The lush natural setting provides James Michener plenty to show and tell.”—The Washington Times.… (more)


½ (55 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member santhony
Pretty disappointing effort from Michener, centered on life at a Florida retirement home.
LibraryThing member catsalive
An enjoyable tale. The nursing & other medical care was interesting, as were the people. A little sentimental in spots but forgiveable.

Recessional: noun. A hymn or other piece of music played at the end of a service while the congregation is filing out.
LibraryThing member wareagle78
I have had this book around for many years, in fact it is one of the oldest Bookcrossing books I have in my home - I've had it since 2004. Yet when I picked it up this week, I sped through it.

I love [[James Mitchener]], although in general I have to be in the mood to tackle one of his sweeping
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tomes. [Recessional] was different. It is a tighter story than his general sweeping tale of a place (think [Tales of the South Pacific] or [Hawaii]). The story of a doctor running from his profession due to lawsuits and high insurance premiums, it becomes a panorama of an upscale Florida retirement community. The residents and staff are fascinating, the backstory of making such a community popular and profitable interesting as well. My parents are in just such a community, although not in Florida, and what I read rang true in many ways. Michener adds his love of place in the descriptions of the flora and fauna of the Tampa community, and I found those portions of the story rewarding as well. Many of the vignettes of the residents left me teary-eyed. This book may not be for everyone, but I found it well-written and enjoyable.
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Random House (1994), Edition: First Trade, 484 pages

Original publication date





0-679-43612-X / 9780679436126


Original language

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