In Play On!, eighty-two year-old Maxine Olson secretly applies to become the assistant director of the Tucson retirement center where she lives. She applies on a lark, but when her nemesis conspires to fill the position with her own gerontophobic granddaughter, Maxine pursues the job as if her life depended on it because – in all the important ways – it does.
In pursuit of her improbable goal, Maxine gathers an eclectic band of retirees and eccentric young people. Together they confront age discrimination, the tribulations of technology, and a nearly estranged daughter. Ultimately, however, Maxine’s greatest challenge comes from within. She no longer has the energy to be a good full-time assistant director, a good friend, and a good mother. She must choose, and she has only 24 hours to set things right.
Although Play On! deals with an aging population, it is neither dark nor satirical. It celebrates the resiliency and creativity of characters who acknowledge their own mortality while still embracing the life-affirming values of friendship and play. Despite the limitations forced upon them by age, they pursue their dreams with grace, good humor, and a skilled sense of gamesmanship.
Play On! is a finalist for the INDIES Book of the Year Award.