submitted by Kit Darling and the members of the Bay Area Book Club
At our April video chat, we discussed Autumn’s Grace by Bonnie Lendrum. A nurse in a variety of roles, from community nursing to director roles in hospitals from Montreal to Toronto to Hamilton, Lendrum writes from personal experience and observation. The story follows the highs and lows of the Campbell family as they navigate their father’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, care and death over a period of 10 months. The 2 eldest daughters, Jessie and Jane are both nurses – Jessie with a PHD is a professor of nursing, Jane has a Masters and runs the organ donation/transplant program at a major urban hospital. Ethan, the son, is a veterinarian like his father. Marj, the mother, was trained as a nurse, but as her daughter phrases it, “since she got her Mrs. that was it.” Gillian, the youngest is a teacher at a Texas Bible college. Lendrum deftly portrays the family dynamics and the emotions that each family member experiences, from hope, to despair to rage. She also highlights the patchwork of support and care available to assist families in the situation from a high level of medical expertise and training to ignorance, lack of training and “doctor knows best” dismissiveness. For those with little medical knowledge or influential contacts, it must be confusing and over-whelming. Some of us have experienced different levels of support and care for end-of-life patients and those who chose to die at home. In one instance, there was a range of supports and services for that express purpose, including social workers to provide support and counselling to family care providers. In Windsor, there is a similar support system in place. This only highlights the patchwork nature of our health care system. (Image with permission Inanna Publications and Education Inc,)
And here is a recommended read available from the Hamilton Public Library. To borrow it or place a reserve, go to https://hpl.bibliocommons.com .
The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon appears to be a very quiet and unremarkable girl. But when Beth sees the orphanage’s janitor at a chess board in the basement, all that changes, she asks to be taught the game. She loves it and hungrily absorbs the game and thinks about it day and night. By age sixteen, she is in the U.S. Open championship. This is not a rosy rags to riches story. Beth is not a flawless heroine. She struggles with relationships, addictions and finances. The author does an excellent job of portraying life in the orphanage, the characters and the male dominated world of chess. There is constant tension in the storytelling that will leave you to decide if Beth is a heroine or an anti-heroine. Paige Turner
Note: The bookmobile will be at Eastwood Park on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:00. There will be no access to the bookmobile to browse, but staff will be on hand for contactless returns and holds pickup.
Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org .