Donna's Reviews > Fun House Chronicles

Fun House Chronicles by Linda B. Myers
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Jul 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fction-general
Read in July, 2011

"Fun House Chronicles" focuses on the love and anguish of a mother (Lily) and daughter (Sylvia) as the aging Lily's medical condition forces her entry into a nursing home. The experience is described realistically through several different points of view; as Lily loses her prized independence and privacy, she also gains from staff skills and the forging of new relationships. The emotions of Sylvia, particularly her guilt, and her reluctant assumption of a decision making role will be very familiar to those of us who have or had a spouse, parent or grandparent in a care facility. Another main character, the widowed Jessica, faces her own sorrow and loss with the wisdom to help both Lily and Sylvia as she becomes open to changes and possibilities in her own life.
While this novel tackles the tough issues of end of life care, it also gives us a feel for the possibility of the continuation of a rewarding life. Main and secondary characters, from Jeff, the well meaning administrator to Gladys, Lily's foul mouthed roommate, become very real and touch us. This is a closely observed, unflinching observation of what can remain after the loss of health or a love appear to doom us. It is informative and essentially life affirming, both grim and bright with connection and feeling. It continues to resonate with me after the last page was clicked. It would have been very helpful to me if this book had been available when my parent was in a nursing home.
The writing is poignant and compassionate, frequently humorous when we most need it, and the chronicles themselves, one per chapter, offer a beautiful distillation into essence of the observed nursing home experience.
A 5 star achievement.

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