Book Reviews

“I started reading this book as a physician but soon became a son. It’s a story for each and every one of us with elderly parents. We will share this daughter’s emotional roller coaster of hope, anger, depression, guilt, and gratitude. And universally, we will cry and wonder if it’s too late to change our own relationships.”

Dr. Steven Leviston, Internist/Endocrinologist

“The importance of conversations regarding end-of-life care cannot be overstated. Dignity and comfort must be our goal. This book dramatically underscores the importance of quality caregiving on a personal and institutional level, while exposing us to the deep pain of loss. They Live On should be widely discussed.”

                                                                                     Peter G. Young, Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator & Clinical Ethicist

“For me, the book is very, very powerful and made me reflect time and time again on all the elderly people in my life. It shares the emotions and struggles that each and every one of us will face at some time in the future. It was a wake-up call for me also, to increase the intensity of the love and the relationships today, as this is the only time we have. I can totally recommend this book for all sons and daughters.”

 Mark McGregor, CEO
Leadership Center, GmbH
Zurich, Switzerland
 

“At the end of Patricia Nugent’s harrowing journey with her parents on the way to their deaths, which she records so vividly, so obsessively, so accurately, I myself was devastated.  One of the things that makes this story more powerful, even mythic, is her unashamed, openly-expressed love for them…Before the immensity and irrevocability of death, she … regresses to the fierceness of an infant’s feelings for its parents, especially for her mother — a love of undiminished, even savage, intensity…It is this primal connection with her parents that…opened her to the full range of her feelings about them…It is the absolute purity and single-mindedness of her love that places this account in a realm of fairy tales — one that we instinctively know is connected to the deepest reality.”     

                             Edward Field, Author,
    After the Fall, Poems Old and New  
 

They Live On is a truly seminal account of a labor of love and compassion.  The reader is invited to accompany the writer on a most intimate, heartfelt and wrenching   journey through the deeply painful experience of loss and bereavement.  On this journey the author as adult child confronts and endures the fear and heartbreak of realizing the mortality of her parents and their imminent demise.  She rises to the challenge and eventually transcends this through her tender, devoted and compassionate caregiving until the eventual passing of each parent.  “They Live On” provides a guide and illuminates a path to a heightened awareness and poignant, bittersweet acknowledgment of both the struggles with and gifts from each parent.

For all adult children who have lost their parents, truly “They Live On.”

                     Raymond R. Pettis, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Supervisor

 
“This book captures the very essence of what it’s like to be a caregiver for a dying person. As a former Hospice nurse, I recommend it for families, health care providers, Hospice volunteers, and book clubs. It gives us a much needed personal glimpse of saying goodbye for the last time. You will laugh and cry.”

Cynthia Therriault

 “This is a deeply moving and profoundly honest memoir of Nugent’s experience of seeing each of her parents out of this life, over a two year span. Her ability to recreate in vivid language her parents and their familial relationships brings the experience to intense life. The daughter’s narrative is made more meaningful by her willingness to examine in reflection, her own actions, doubts and fears. The book is an affirmation of love and duty, in all its complexity.”

 Dr. Christie Logan, Professor Emerita of Performance Studies, California State University at Northridge

“This is a beautiful book. It captures the tumult of emotions, the struggle between worry and hope, and the shifting relational dynamics of adult children and their parents. There is so much in here that is deeply personal and so much that is universal.”

                      Dr. Jim Hasenauer, Professor of Communication Studies, California State University at Northridge

 

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