Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything--his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving taught in the basement of a local church. There Ben is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider. But when Ben is assigned to nineteen-year-old Trev, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent. As they embark on a wild road trip across the American West to visit Trev's ailing father, a new camaraderie replaces the traditional boundary between patient and caregiver. Bursting with energy, this big-hearted, soulful, and inspired novel ponders life's terrible surprises and the heart's uncanny capacity to mend and become whole again.
Lisa C. says:
Ben and Trev form a bond and pass the time watching the Weather Channel making a running sexual commentary about the female reporters and marking a giant US map with stops on an imaginary road trip that entails visiting every roadside attraction( like the Biggest Pit in America, and Hobbitville) they can find. All of this is a way of escaping the harsh reality of their situations. And who can blame them? Trev is not sure how long he will survive with MD. We learn about Ben’s past in snippets, but we know right away – some disaster – as he calls it – has taken away his family and he is refusing to sign divorce papers because he just can’t move forward.
This book is about Ben moving forward with his life, Trev moving out of his safe, familiar home comfort zone, and all of this happens on one zany road trip to see Trev’s deadbeat dad. There are some lessons that you can only learn from a road trip or a journey. Along the way, they meet and pick up odd characters, other lost souls, and it proves that strangers, when thrown together, see their own lives from another perspective. In this story, I’d say that everyone who Ben and Trev meet along the way finds something lost, finds acceptance, finds a new path or purpose, and finds forgiveness. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is much more than a zany road trip with quirky characters. It’s a book that will reach into your soul and give you hope for whatever challenges you face within your own world. Knowing a little bit about Jonathan Evison’s background – I also know that this is a story that he was compelled to write – and I think those tend to be the best kind of stories."
Save The Date!!!
Monday, September 24, 2012 at our Colfax Avenue Store:
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. Bursting with energy, this big-hearted and inspired novel ponders life’s terrible surprises and the heart’s uncanny capacity to mend.
“Jonathan Evison is a gifted raconteur with a wicked sense of humor and an unflagging empathy for humankind in all its sad, foible-filled magnificence. In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, his myriad talents are displayed in full bloom.” —Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers