On Tuesday we visited with middle grade author, Emily Ungar. She was kicking off a regular blog feature called “Where I Write,” and I had the privilege of writing her first guest post. In addition to participating in my blog tour, Emily volunteered to read an advanced copy of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. Today I’m sharing the review she posted on Amazon.
I really enjoyed Linda’s wit July 7, 2014
By Emily Ungar
My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s disease many years ago, so this book was of special interest to me. I couldn’t imagine taking such an epic RV adventure and I wanted to know exactly how Linda did it! 😉 A gripping first scene really drew me into the book, and as Linda’s story unwound, my attention was kept by the switching viewpoints between present-day scenes and related scenes from long ago. I really enjoyed Linda’s wit, and for me this was the best part of the book. Laughter with tears is a rare emotion, but Linda delivers some great zingers through the tougher moments and approaches her caregiving with warm humor (“…fortunately, the Coffee War was a cold one, and no shots were fired.” AND “Today was uneventful, with my big achievement being two clean parents.”) There are tender moments, too, such as “It breaks my heart to see her disappearing a piece at a time into the abyss of this disease” and “It makes me sad that their lives have become so small.”
But there’s another story here, too: a really happy one! We’re treated to giggles as Linda describes her dating experiences before finally meeting her husband David, who as a strong partner helps Linda with her caregiving tasks. As Linda dated in the past, she meets some bad eggs (“culling through [ads] was an education in Internet double speak and the psychology of the American male…’you can trust me’ usually meant you couldn’t.”) Eventually she found the man who would help carry her through both her road trip and spiritual adventures (“In spite of my prayer, or maybe because of it…I met David.’)
Ultimately, this is a love story–but not in the way you might think. It’s the story of a grown woman who loves her parents. It’s the story of parents who love their daughter but can’t remember why they’re in her RV. it’s the story of a man who loves his wife so much that he assists her with caregiving for her two parents who cannot meet even the most basic of needs. And it’s the shared story of love for the open road–the idea that no matter what, every moment is new. Linda wrote: “I prayed the trip would create more pleasant memories for her.” I recommend reading this book–to find out if it did.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Emily Ungar’s middle grade novel, Liberty Belle, will to released by Anaiah Press on August 12.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
Available now at:
B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play
About the Book: Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.