The novel touches on today’s rapidly-changing landscape, in which, despite the undercurrents of pessimism, and incidence of elderly abuse, encountered by “Empty Nesters,” who may be financially well-off, but despite emotional deprivation, there emerges a bright picture of the empowerment of the mature population. They come across as the repositories of rich experience, and valuable advice for the next generation!
The theme of the book is to provide hope to the elderly, that they will not be left to “fade away into the sunset,” but will enrich the lives of the younger people, with “the light of their amber glory!”
For the seniors, whose lives are enriched by a gamut of activities, for boosting their emotional and physical health, their lives are highlighted in various episodes, against the backdrop of “Amberwood Estates,” a sprawling Housing complex—the brainchild of Afshin, her husband Akhtar, and her mother, Asiya.
Amberwood Estates is a veritable utopia for the elderly, motivated by a curriculum for boosting their physical and emotional well-being. These include classes in Reiki, Tai Chi, cruises, cultural activities, and social gatherings.
The novel begins with the objectionable treatment of a mother, who had devoted her whole life to her children, after she was widowed young. She had worked hard to facilitate their higher education, so that they could live luxurious lives. The daughter-in-law, Elham, is an avaricious and insolent person, who does not care for her mother-in-law’s comfort, or her quality of life, despite the fact that her son had provided her an opulent lifestyle.
The mother is rescued from her squalid life by her daughter, Afshin, who lives in Kuwait. Afshin’s neighbour, Sarah, is a forward-looking lady, who has set up a seniors’ club for Assisted Living. With Sarah’s guidance, Afshin sets up a similar, Seniors’ Housing complex in Karachi, in her home country, Pakistan. It gains so much popularity, that dignitaries from various countries visit it regularly, and similar clubs are mushrooming all over Asia, and the Middle East, due to Sarah’s, and Afshin’s pioneering efforts. Sarah and Afshin were awarded a Special prize for their humanitarian efforts.
In the Book, the lives of other senior citizens are highlighted in various episodes, with individual circumstances of parents being abandoned by immigrating offspring, who are endowed with hope of a better lifestyle at Amberwood Estates. The lives of some of the elderly residents become intertwined at times, and some surprising unions take place at the end!