Tag Archives: Death & Dying

Review: Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie

Go Ask Fannie
By Elisabeth Hyde
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735218567, April 10, 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

This family’s story tugged at my heart.

The Rest of It:

Murray Blaire is getting on in years. At 81, he’s set in his ways but still present enough to know the importance of family. In an attempt to convince his youngest adult daughter that the man she is seeing is far too old for her and a real jerk, he invites his three children up for a long weekend.

Ruth as the eldest, figures it’s a good time to discuss the possibility of long-term care before her father actually needs it but Lizzie and George and most of all, Murray, just aren’t ready to talk about it. Plus, Lizzie quickly figures out the real reason for the visit and although she realizes she made many mistakes in her life, she’s not quite ready to address them. Certainly not in front of her judgmental older sister.

This is family drama at its best. Go Ask Fannie is a touching story about what it takes to have a successful marriage and raise a family while still maintaining a sense of self. Lillian and Murray lived a wonderful life but her death and the death of their son Daniel place a cloud over this family that cannot be ignored. Murray’s grief and the weight of loss his kids carry is palpable. It’s a story about missed opportunities and second chances. It’s sweet and well-told and comes together beautifully at the end.

Elisabeth Hyde is a new-to-me author but I really enjoyed her writing. Go Ask Fannie is a book many will enjoy this summer.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Being Mortal

Being Mortal

Being Mortal
By Atul Gawande
Picador USA, 9781250076229, September 2017, 304pp.

The Short of It:

Well written and thought-provoking. If you’ve never thought about losing your independence while battling a long-term/terminal illness, then this will be an eye-opener for you.

The Rest of It:

Atul Gawande was born into a family of doctors. As a doctor and  himself, he became interested in palliative care and how a shift in the care of the terminally ill, can prolong their quality of life. Not cure them, of course, but provide them care by fulfilling such wishes as more time with the family, continuing to teach music, eating ice cream and watching football in the comfort of your own home.

When his own father is diagnosed with cancer, his research in this area becomes personal. How do you treat a patient in this situation? How do you secure a comfortable environment while controlling pain, seeing to their psychological needs and their desire to maintain quality of life?

This was a fascinating read. Gawande discusses the issues with nursing homes and hospice care and points out two very important questions that should be asked of any patient with a terminal illness.

  1. What is your understanding of what you’ve been told?
  2. What is your expectation as far as care?

So often, these critical questions are never asked. It’s assumed that people want to be cured but often, they just want to be pain-free, comfortable and independent. That last part being a huge issue for most. This is a heavy topic but Gawande does a beautiful job highlighting what CAN be done for a positive outcome.

If this topic interests you, get yourself a copy and if you have a chance. Check out his Ted Talk too.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.