The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
After losing virtually everything meaningful in his life, Benjamin trains to be a caregiver, but his first client, a fiercely independent teen with muscular dystrophy, gives him more than he bargained for and soon the two embark on a road trip to visit the boy's ailing father.
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From Book Group Buzz blog, post by Misha Stone: Jonathan Evison, author of All About Lulu and West of Here, has a new novel out, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and it is fantastic. It is a novel full of wit, heartache and redemption. Benjamin Benjamin is looking at 40 with few job prospects, a broken marriage and losses that would rip the average human being apart. Benjamin takes a job as a caretaker for Trev, a teenager with muscular dystrophy. Benjamin and Trev trade jocular banter as Benjamin shadowboxes with his past. A roadtrip occurs between these two unlikely partners, a journey that changes them both and helps them move forward. It’s always hard to sum up a book you enjoyed and while comparisons never do a book justice, sometimes they can enlighten someone else to reasons why they should give it a try. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving made me think of why I loved the film “Rushmore”–it looks like a silly caper of a movie until you see where its secret and deeply sad heart is buried. Evison’s new novel also made me think of writers like Jess Walter and Jonathan Tropper, two authors that also balance comedy and tragedy on a knife edge. I also loved this book because it captures my childhood stomping grounds–the grungy around the edges Kitsap County towns where people still play darts and smoke dope at parties with strangers and a lonely man can turn himself around despite the odds.
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