A heart-warming journey with parents of a certain age and a son who thinks he knows best

'A bit like David Sedaris without the tragedy, this is a book that will bring a smile of recognition to anyone with ageing elders, and hopefully to the elders themselves' Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald

'Warm, witty, honest. With a healthy serving of humour, Todd Alexander has written a marvellous, touching and insightful book. You'll laugh, cry and hope your own kids love you this much. I'll be more patient with my parents after reading this' Better Reading

'Warm, witty and insightful ... Alexander has exquisitely depicted the experience of dealing with ageing parents' The Australian

'Funny, irreverent and very true to life' Blue Wolf Reviews

Of course, we love our parents. Even if they do so many things that drive us bonkers.

Like how a mother - for argument's sake, let's say mine - taps her fingernails on the car window whenever she sees a place of interest (seven taps for a regular haunt, up to twenty for somewhere fascinating). Or the way a father - let's call him Dad - practises deafness but can miraculously hear a suggestion of no ham at Christmas over the roar of cricket commentary. It might be the way your mum works herself into a tizz over a call from Azerbaijan one week and Nigeria the next. Or how your dad has an answer to everything (despite his information being forty years out of date) and 'a guy' for all fixes (if only he could find his Rolodex).

When do we stop being our parents' child and become their parent? After all, they did pretty well on their own for decades - why do they need our intervention now? And that tendency for them to drive us up the wall ... could it be because we are entering middle age and starting to recognise some of those traits in ourselves?

Over the Hill and Up the Wall is an affectionate, funny look at the frictions of taking a more active role in our elders' lives. It's a nod to every child who has waited three hours for a parent to fasten their seatbelt, and every parent whose child assumes they can't count to twenty. And, if your parents are just hitting middle age, it may well be a warning of things to come!

About the author(s)

If he's not kissing his pig or brushing his goats, you'll generally find Todd at the computer writing, on the mower thinking, in the kitchen experimenting or in the foetal position trying to solve his parents' latest technological drama. Todd's bestselling comedic memoir, Thirty Thousand Bottles of Wine and a Pig Called Helga (2019) was longlisted for three awards for best non-fiction book of the year. It was followed in 2021 by another comedy, You've Got to be Kidding. His short story, 'The Great Easter Let Down' was longlisted for the Newcastle Short Story Award in 2021. Todd has also written two novels and feature stories for Nourish magazine and The Guardian. He lives in the Hunter Valley with his partner Jeff where they rescue farm animals and renovate properties.

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