Learning that the roof over their heads might be sold and they themselves dispersed, the residents of the Blenheim Care and Retirement Home take up arms as a fighting co-operative, determined to secure the place for themselves. To raise the money they also take up crime — not knowing that the Blenheim is already a front for organised crime.
With luck, love and ingenuity, they succeed.Yet far more gripping than all this is the effect of their venture on the old communards themselves:
“In fact the most fantastic development of all in the Blenheim at that time was not so much the founding of its co-operative or Connie's kidnapping as the welling up of so much energy, hope and desire in so many pre-war souls and bodies.”
At around the time my mother decided to spread life’s load about a little by handing the onerous and boring part over to a care home, there were reports in even serious newsapers of bed-hoppings, poker schools, cabernet sauvignon orgies and similar outrages in many such institutions nationwide.
So far as I know, the only hint of impropriety in my mother's case involved the return of a sapphire engagement ring at the insistence of the would-be groom’s senior daughter. Still, it sowed the seed of a novel at once rollicking, tender and suspenseful.