The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

by Jonathan Evison | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1611748992 Global Overview for this book
Registered by indygo88 of Lafayette, Indiana USA on 10/28/2012
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by indygo88 from Lafayette, Indiana USA on Sunday, October 28, 2012
"Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything-his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving in the basement of a local church. There Ben is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider.

But when Ben is assigned to tyrannical nineteen-year-old Trev, in the advanced stages of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, he soon discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent with an ax to grind with the world at large.

Though begun with mutual misgivings, the relationship between Trev and Ben evolves into a close camaraderie and the traditional boundaries between patient and caregiver begin to blur as they embark on a road trip across the American West to visit Trev's ailing father. A series of must-see roadside attractions sidetrack them into an adventure highlighted by one birth, two arrests, a freakish dust storm, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious brown Buick Skylark.

Bursting with energy, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is a big-hearted, soulful, and inspired novel that ponders life's terrible surprises and the heart's uncanny capacity to mend and become whole again."

Acquired through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. (Unabridged on 8 CD's; read by Jeff Woodman)

Journal Entry 2 by indygo88 at Lafayette, Indiana USA on Sunday, October 28, 2012
This was a surprise of a book. The cover & title weren't particularly appealing to me, but the book's description about a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy caught my interest, since I work with a number of individuals with this diagnosis. The fact that it was an audiobook & read by Jeff Woodman was a bonus.

Ben Benjamin (yes, that's his name) is an early middle-aged man who's having a rough time. He's barely getting by after his wife leaves him, he loses his children, and he doesn't have a steady income. He takes a job as a home caregiver for 19-year-old Trev, who has muscular dystrophy, not necessarily because he feels a strong urge to, but because it is a job, albeit a low-paying one.

You get the feeling that this is going to be a feel-good book. In some respects it is, sort of. But not really. The hard truth is that muscular dystrophy is a fatal disease. And Ben, though a likeable enough guy, just keeps becoming a victim to various heartaches. There are several different themes going on in this story. The one that keeps the reader really going is the alluded catastrophe that had previously occurred regarding Ben's children. We know something bad happened, but we're not sure about the exact details until they're gradually unfolded throughout the story via flashbacks. Though sad & horrific, it helps the reader understand what Ben's going through in his attempt to move on, or as is often the case, not want to move on.

The beauty of this book is Evison's ability to combine humor with heartache. There are sad aspects, yes. But there are other moments that are downright funny, with a variable cast of characters. I liked this book a lot. But as I stated up above, the title and cover aren't something that would typically attract my attention on the bookshelf. In other words, don't judge the book by its cover in this case. Read the book based on its good reviews.

Journal Entry 3 by indygo88 at Lafayette, Indiana USA on Thursday, May 16, 2013
Placing into BigJohnLefty's audio box.

Journal Entry 4 by wingbooklady331wing at Cape Coral, Florida USA on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
This book has made a short stop at my house. It will continue on its journey until it finds its new home.

Journal Entry 5 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 18, 2014
Removed from BigJohnLefty's Audio Bookbox

Journal Entry 6 by NMReader at Reston Regional Library in Reston, Virginia USA on Thursday, October 12, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (10/12/2017 UTC) at Reston Regional Library in Reston, Virginia USA

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