Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Tuesday Reviews Day - Books and a medical emergency

I've kinda been missing in action the past couple of weeks.  I'll skip all the gritty details but we had a bit of an emergency with my 83 year old Mum who has ended up in hospital with two fractures to her spine - L4 and L5. Mum has Osteoporosis so not the greatest thing to have happen.  If all goes well, Mum may be back home by the 8th with a Transitional Care team visiting daily to assist her with all the basic needs while she recuperates.

Mum will need to be very, very careful though as, with osteoporosis, fractures can take a longer time to heal. One of the fractures is actually an older one and still not fully healed. We believe that one happened when Mum was trying to move a bed frame in her spare room, lost balance, and ended up with the frame on top of her. The latest fracture we believe happened when she was out doing yard work, lost balance, and fell backwards against the wall of her garden shed.

The first day we realised Mum was in very bad pain, I brought her home to our place to stay overnight as we thought it was muscular and she just needed to rest. My back injury flared up quite badly trying to assist Mum getting up and down from the bed/chair during her stay. My 35 year old son, Bradley, tried to assist and he ended up with a bad back that required strong painkillers, a visit to the Doctor, and a Physiotherapist. Mum is quite petite but it was more the awkward positioning that strained our backs. Mum was off to hospital by ambulance the next morning. Brad had a nasty fall around nine years ago and his back seems to be a soft spot for him. If it doesn't rain, it pours, right?!

While Mum is in hospital, I am minding this little bundle of cuteness.
Her name is Teenie and she is Mum's little doggie. Teenie is a Pomeranian and she is being such a good little girl while here with us.

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So, onto the book reviews -

First up, Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Roseanna has been a powerful attorney all her adult life but, when her law partner and best friend dies of a heart attack, she snaps. Uncharacteristically, Roseanna drives her car upstate until it pretty much runs out of fuel. From there, she finds herself living in a run-down shack, on 76 acres in the foothills of the Adirondacks, with no plans to go back to law. A mother and young daughter are squatters there and Roseanna allows them to stay, albeit reluctantly. There is a lot more to this story as other characters come on the scene making for an interesting read. Her son and her other law partner look for her and, when they find her, they both think Roseanna is nuts for giving up the life she had before. Roseanna's newfound lifestyle soon comes under threat. What will Roseanna do? Can she convince her son that she wants to stay put? Will she lose the property she desperately wants to keep?

I instantly connected with Roseanna's sudden desire to lead a simple, minimalist lifestyle. I love the way the story unfolds in such a lovely setting despite the hurdles that arise.  This is the second book I have read by Catherine Ryan Hyde and I'm sure it won't be the last. I loved it and gave it a 5 star rating!

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Next up - Without a Country by Ayse Kulin. Translator - Kenneth Dakan

This Historical Fiction novel begins with Gerhard and Elsa Schliemann, and their two children, fleeing Germany as Hitler's reign of terror takes hold. Along with many other German Jews in similar predicaments, they end up in Turkey.  Gerhard's qualifications as a medical professor are greatly needed by the hospitals and universities at a time when Turkey is undergoing expansion and major changes. The story of this family spans four generations and covers a lot of ground. Things go well for a while but there are troubled times ahead as several military coups cause a lot of unrest and anti-Semitism rears it's ugly head. Will they have to flee Turkey? Their children are now grown and with lives of their own. Are they in danger?

I was torn between giving this book three or four stars. I went with four because I did enjoy the book and I'm a bit of a history buff and learned a lot about Turkey's past. I considered the three stars because it seemed quite rushed to me.  It felt like the author was cramming three generations mostly into the second half of the book whereas I would have liked her to delve a little more into those later generations. Still a good book, nonetheless.

That wraps up the reviews for this week. 

Stay tuned...
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