Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Revised Fundamentals Of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Benjamin Benjamin is stuck.  He has drifted ever since his family life imploded, leaving him without anyone to share his life with.  Since he has spent years as a stay-at-home dad, his career prospects are dim.  Benjamin takes a class for caregivers, where he learns the technical aspects of home care along with the ability to be helpful without crossing the boundaries that separate a caregiver from his patient.

Then he meets Trav.  Trav is nineteen years old, a young man with MD, whose life expectancy is limited.  Each year the disease takes more and more from him, leaving him more dependant on his mother and his caregivers.  Against his will and knowledge, Ben finds himself becoming involved in Trav's life, pushing him to do and want more than what life has on offer.

As the book progresses, Ben and Trav take off on a cross-country trip.  Along the way, they encounter several lost souls and along with seeing the sights, take the time to create a space of helpfulness for the various people they encounter.  Will Ben learn to move on and take charge of his life, or will he remain a detached, uninvolved man barely making it through his days?

Jonathan Evison has written a compellingly readable book.  The reader quickly learns to care about Ben, and pulls for him to get past the tragedy of his life.  Ben is a man many of us know; someone whose life doesn't work out the way he plans, but who can still take the time to care for others as he learns what his purpose is.  This book is recommended for all readers interested in individuals evolving and building successful lives when faced with difficulties.

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