As a bereavement care specialist, Dr. Virginia Simpson has devoted her career to counseling individuals and families grappling with illness, death, and grieving. But when her own mother, Ruth, is diagnosed in 1999 with a life-threatening condition, Virginia is caught off guard by the storm of emotions she experiences when she is forced to inhabit the role of caregiver.
In a quest to provide her mother with the best care possible, Virginia arranges for Ruth to move in with her—and for the next six years, she cares for her, juggling her mother’s doctor’s appointments, meals, medication schedules, transportation needs, and often cranky moods with her own busy schedule. In The Space Between, Simpson takes readers along for the journey as she struggles to bridge the invisible, often prickly space that sits between so many mothers and daughters, and to give voice to the challenges, emotions, and thoughts many caregivers experience but are too ashamed to admit. Touching and vividly human, The Space Between reminds us all that without accepting the inevitability of death and looking ahead to it with clarity, life cannot be fully lived.More info →
Mid-life mom, Colleen Gallagher would do anything to protect her children from harm. When her daughter's husband falls ill with ALS, Colleen rolls up her sleeves and moves in. As her beloved son-in-law's illness progresses, Colleen juggles the multiple roles of grandma, cook, and caregiver. The months drag on, and she discovers that even her superhuman efforts can't fix what's wrong.
An affecting, deeply honest novel; at the same time, a lacerating indictment of our modern health care system.--Kirkus Review
Employing a thought-provoking ending, Montpelier Tomorrow is an exceptional read. A mix of sadness and humor, it is indeed a story that should be read many times.--The US Review of Books
Montpelier Tomorrow displays a talent for exploring family relationships. In the eye of a storm, Colleen is a memorable, flawed, all-too-human wellspring of strength.--Foreword Clarion Reviews
A heartrending story of love, loss and the endurance of the human spirit.--Literary Fiction Book Review
"Characters are vivid, relatable, and all too imperfectly human." --Jewell Parker Rhodes
"Each time I have reread this novel, I have felt rewarded by the connection it offers to the central character, Colleen. I can think of no single page in which her voice is not an irreplaceable gift to the reader." --Kevin McIlvoy
"An engrossing account of the impossible choices faced by caregivers..." --Kathryn ShonkMore info →
The stories in Bonds of Love & Blood have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, the ALR Fiction Prize, the Jeanne Leiby Award, and other awards from literary magazines. Each story features solitary travelers who are immigrants or emigrants. Wherever they find themselves--Thailand, Turkey, Marin County, Mexico, or a jail in Baltimore-- their thoughts are often of home.More info →
"I was not the sort of girl who should have gotten pregnant in high school. I was one of the bright kids, but not the brightest; pretty, but not the prettiest. That last frantic week of sophomore year, when we ran around collecting yearbook autographs, my best friend described me a "passionate humanitarian" like Gandhi or Martin Luther King. I stared at the word "passionate," thinking she might have guessed. That was before I knew how much passion cost, before I crossed the divide between innocence and adult life, and found that much as I wanted to, I could not step back."
So begins a memoir about the price a young woman paid to keep her family's honor intact. This excerpt comes from a memoir written many years ago when I was just beginning to think I might have stories worth telling.More info →