A Review of Leisure Daze, by Mike Mihalek (Heartland 2008)
Mke Mihalek's short, humorous novel Leisure Daze is set in an upscale retirement community in Florida, with a strong cast of characters including a conservative retired general who is president of the home owners' association and a liberal retired lawyer trying to unite the residents in a lawsuit to clean up a polluted south Florida river.
The story begins with two residents' innocent discovery of a large quantity of marijuana and the hilarious ways it affects the community. The pot finds its way into brownies and other baked goods and leads to a lot of happily bizarre behavior. Then the real problem arises: a Columbian cocaine ring that has been operating on the premises for some time senses competition and goes after the unsuspecting seniors.
In a series of strange confrontations, the suddenly more active and newly-armed residents finally win the struggle in their own way.
This book, by a 57-year-old former healthcare worker, should appeal to the author's contemporaries as well as others older and younger, especialy those who fondly remember their rebellious, pot-smoking earlier years. I'm glad that Mihalek dared to portray active seniors, with their peculiarities and foibles. Most of the characters in Leisure Daze somehow manage to be humorous and admirable at the same time. Their different views and personalities illustrate again that older people are not all alike.
Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne