If you’re a sucker for genre fiction (like I am), you might find yourself sucked into the same drama-centered story, over and over with the same type of protagonist. Yet, I’ve been noticing lately that, just like we’ve been seeing diversity with disabled protagonists and LGBTQ protagonists, I’ve also been seeking a lot of books with older protagonists, as well.
While I think most younger people would be hesitant to pick up books with an older protagonist, I find them to be some of the most interesting reads that I’ve come across. They are often filled with humor, unique insight, and witty commentary. There are a few that I’ve read this year that might even make my all time favorite list (though I have several more on my TBR to tackle as well)–Though if you’re looking for some older releases with mature protagonists, be sure to check out this list by Off The Shelf.
If you’re interested in trying this genre—with a twist—here’s a few books with older protagonists that are worth taking a look at.
#1: The Reluctant Fortune Teller by Keziah Frost
I found this book at a discount book store last month and while I knew it would look great on my shelf (the spine is a perfect match for my color coded bookshelf), I actually think it sounds like a fantastic plot as well. It’s certainly on my TBR list for this fall and I’m excited to get to it.
Basically, the main character is Norbert, who is 73 years old and has nothing to fill his time except the company of his Chihuahua. But, when he attracts the attention of a seniors club with too much time on their hands, Norbert agrees to their silly scheme: to make him the town’s fortune teller.
Though Norbert hasn’t been reading fortunes long, he is an excellent people watcher and he’s convinced he can live up to the task. As he makes new friendships and gains self-confidence through his new position, things start to look up—that is until Norbert give a young woman a bad reading and she goes missing.
This book sounds so fun and intriguing and I’m definitely excited to read it. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, click this link here to purchase it.
#2: Killers of A Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
I can’t tell you how excited I am to talk about Killers of A Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn. This book technically hasn’t come out yet, but I have an advanced review copy that I am dying to start and I have definitely been hearing about this book everywhere in my pre-order channels.
In this unique book with an older protagonist, 4 women have spent their lives as the world’s deadliest assassins through an undercover network called the Museum. After forty years in the biz, their skills are now considered old school and no one seems to appreciate them anymore—especially since the age of technology and what it means to the organization.
Yet, when the women are sent on a vacation to mark their retirement, they learn they are being targeted by their own organization and it’s only a matter of time until they are taken out by one of their own. The women know that only the board of the organization could have planned this and they know that in order to get out of alive, they are going to have to rely on their experiences and each other to survive.
This book sounds so exciting and unique—I’ve truly never heard a plot line like it and I’m so excited to post my review for this one. If you want to pre-order it for yourself, the book comes out September 6, 2022 and you can order it by clicking here.
#3: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Remarkably Bright Creatures has been trending all summer and honestly, it’s no wonder why. I wrote a review of this one when it was first released (you can read it here), and I thought it was such a unique book with an older protagonist, especially for the genre.
So basically, our main character bounces back and forth in multiple POV, but the majority of the book is written from Tova’s perspective. Tova is in her 70s and she just recently lost her husband to cancer. Her life has been filled with tragedy, as she lost her high-school aged son to a terrible accident, as well. Tova is trying to find peace with the loss in her life, and fill the void of her extra time, so she gets a job as the night cleaner at a local aquarium.
At first, Tova enjoys the monotony of her job and the service she provides—but then, she quickly makes friends with Marcellus, a Giant Pacific Octopus who is reaching the end of his life line. Marcellus and Tova connect and the octopus is determined to help Tova heal by revealing an important secret to her.
This book is so emotional, but also fun. Plus, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and would look amazing on any bookshelf. I have a feeling this book is going to be a hit with book clubs for a long time to come.
If you’re interested in checking out Remarkably Bright Creatures, it’s currently on sale on Amazon here for only $18.
While these are definitely a few books with older protagonists that you can start with, I definitely think that we are going to see this trend continuing as the year goes on. While I’m not entirely sure why older narrators are becoming more popular now, I absolutely am loving it and I’ve excited for more new releases that fit this trope.
If you have a book with an older protagonist that you’ve loved, let me know in the comments below!