The Reluctant Fortune Teller by Keziah Frost
Norbert is in trouble. He and Ivy are barely making ends meet when disaster strikes. Ivy breaks her leg in a fall and Norbert doesn’t know how he’ll make the monthly installments for her medical care plus keep the lights on. Norbert is a retired widower and Ivy is his late aunt’s chihuahua and until now they have been scraping by but Norbert knows a change is needed. When the vivacious senior ladies of Carlotta’s Club saw him coming out of the food pantry with a box of food they proposed an idea for him to make extra funds. He didn’t like it, but with Ivy’s injury he knows he may not have a choice. Norbert Zelenka, former accountant and amateur painter is now Norbert Z, fortune teller. Quiet Norbert, overlooked by many for most of his life, is now the man everyone wants to listen to.
Norbert is delightful. Having been ignored for so long he has become an expert observer. He is also a great aficionado of the facts gleaned from Reader’s Digest and puts his eclectic knowledge to good use. Also, he just has a very big heart. The three members of Carlotta’s Club bring the humor and the adversarial edge to the piece. As the book progresses you get to know all four characters well and understand how they grew into the seniors they now are.
I have to admit the audiobook was getting me a little frustrated. When the reader voices Norbert’s part she slows her speech down to what felt to me like a fast snail’s pace; yet over time I appreciated it. You can understand how this thoughtful kind man was overlooked and talked over through the years and what a benefit it is to his small part of the world that they finally decided to listen.