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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B by Lynn Byk is a memoir that reads like nothing I have read in a long while. It is well-crafted, with details that capture the very essence of the day-to-day life of a 98-year-old rocket scientist, his son, Paul, and his daughter-in-law, Lynn. Written in the form of journal entries, the memoir draws readers into the narrator’s perspective and follows the story closely. The memoir features moments of history in Mister B’s scientific work, and his contribution to WWII and the Cold War initiatives. When the couple decides to move into Mister B’s house, they are unaware that an exciting chapter is opening in their lives. Now, the old man is just happy to have people to share his home, but no argument or trick could convince him to allow any renovations to take place in the house. It’s the place he’s occupied with his late wife and he just won’t allow any changes to it.
Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist: Mister B is told in a humorous, endearing tone that will arrest the reader’s attention right off the bat, a rollicking ride, and a hilarious story that looks at the beauty of living with an elderly man who has seen many things and who has been at the heart of history. The humor is terrific and the author’s handling of family dynamics is one of the fortes of this narrative. Coupled with witticism and realistic dialogues, this makes for a great read. I was pulled into the story from the very beginning and couldn’t get distracted as I read through the entire book. Yes, it is gripping, and the humanity of Mister B is so wonderfully explored. It is rare to find a memoir that reads like fiction, but this one does. It’s an exciting read!