Book Review: The Somebody Who ~by Katie Gates
I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is a member of a family, has a family, have parents who are aging, have lost their parents, or are just starting a new family.
This is a book about family and what happens to all families when their primary communicator makes a major change. It affects every member.
I started to read this story on Katie Gates Blog, as she was putting up one segment once a week. I loved her choice of words and especially the dialog sections. The words were how people truly speak to each other, sometimes being so respectful and careful that they create secrets with their feelings and what is unspoken.
I could not read this book so slowly; I was hooked in and so went ahead and purchased a copy.
Evelyn has lost her husband of 47 years to dementia, she is the partner left behind. She is the mother to her four children, the volunteer, the nurturer and the caregiver who kept the family; a family which has now lost its greatest communicator – Oh the body is still there eating, exercising and getting dressed, but the mind has left this world behind – to cope.
I needed to read this story after caring for my Mother for her 3 year dying journey. My Mother was very sharp mentally and that was a blessing because we could talk about what was happening to her body and make decisions together right up to the very end. This story helped me to demythologize my own family of origin and how I expected my siblings and relatives to behave.
This is such a respectful loving story. Katie Gates has quite a way with words – even the words of someone with dementia.
Evelyn is very lucky, because she has full time helpers during the day seven days a week. She is able to go to concerts, lunch, shopping and fundraisers; still participate in the world. I was quite jealous of her help actually! Evelyn was on the night shift and it meant that for her she could not sleep. She begins the sorting process as something to do as she is awake for most of the night. The reader begins to understand the strength of this family and how their lives and stories are pieced together with the onset of this dis-ease; how each member approached their new relationships and the new dynamics with the changes.
This novel brought me home to a deeper understanding of my emotions and I could comprehend the strengths I had promoted and hopefully instilled in my own children. This is a gentle story or a deeper thought- provoking exploration of how one would want their own family to be in the midst of change.
Katie Gates and I have been in touch with several emails and comments as I prepare to share this review, and she has offered a copy of the book as a “give a way”. If you make a comment on this post, I will enter your name into a random drawing and you might WIN a copy for yourself.
Katie Gates is willing to visit with book groups.
I hope my readers will at the least make their way over to read the story piece by piece on the blog, or purchase the book, which is available from Amazon.com through this blog site or KatieGateswrites.
I discovered family and the subject of communication in this story, and I believe there are many other dimensions to this plot to capture the attention. The book was a very good read by a very good story teller. I am sure you would enjoy it.
Do you know of other novels about parental aging and family dynamics that you would like to share?
How would your family cope with a dementia situation? One of my friends and her 3 siblings hired a mediator and spent a whole weekend working out their resolutions with their parent’s illness and things. Would you ever do that or consider it? How do you cope with being awake all night long?
Looking forward to your delightful comments and entry into the drawing.