Title: A Bend in the River of Life
Author: Marianne de Nazareth
Genre: Literature and Fiction
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Platinum Press (2019)
MRP: Rs. 199 (Buy from Amazon for 229)
Writing about disability, death and the associated difficulties takes a lot of courage. To write such a book and bring out the happiness even in the difficult times, takes a special kind of writing. A Bend In The River Of Life manages to create a very strong impact on the reader, dealing with heartbreak and acceptance, but in the most gentle manner ever. I was moved by this effort and despite being in the health care field, this book provided me with fresh insight into how patient care and support needs to be.
How do you review a book chronicling the decline of a patient with Parkinson’s disease? A neurodegenerative condition with no cure and no hope for recovery. How do you make such a book interesting and impactful?
A Bend In The River Of Life, begins delightfully as the protagonist tells the story of her father who was an IAS officer who made it a point to spend his life moments caring for the women in his life, the protagonist siblings, Sabrina and Samara. Bright sunshine, carefully cultivated flowers, strong hands and lovely humor create a solid and caring persona that was their father. Sabrina recalls the strength her father exhibited in their formative years and imbibed them with love and care and then we are dealt with the trauma she faces when she looks at him with tremors arising out of the Parkinson’s that he is afflicted with. The double blow dealt by his diabetes and his death leaves the protagonists heartbroken. The reader is gently eased into the suffering and nostalgia with tiny lessons the protagonists learn with each new event.
The rest of the story deals with the mother of the siblings who herself becomes afflicted with Parkinson’s and the struggle she puts up to be strong and caring despite her ailment. How the protagonist siblings try their best to help her, feed her and care for her they way she cared for them. The narrative is sure to bring a lump to the throat of the readers.
The book is not about the hardships, but it is rather about how people can rise above the difficulties life throws at us. The book is caringly written with information about the Disease and lessons we can learn from the protagonists how to care for the people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.
A lovely book on how people can be gentler and kinder to those that are part of our lives. The book is informative and will be of great benefit to people who are caregivers on how to be strong and provide effective aid to those who are in need of it. I believe this book should be essential reading for medical school students as part of their personality development module, to instill a sense of empathy.
What I liked about A Bend in The River of Life
The book is written caringly and aims to give a sense of understanding as to how disease affects the people close to the sufferer. A matter of fact smooth narrative, not trying to create sadness in the reader, but helping them understand what the protagonists go through each day. Also showing the strength of the people who matter.
What I did not like about A Bend in The River of Life
Nothing I can think of.
Buy or Don’t buy? Buy it. You will learn a bit about an ailment that is on the rise and also learn to have strength in cirumstances that make you weak.
Sabrina and her sister, Samara, are Anglo-Indian girls raised by strong-minded and free-spirited parents. Their father proudly represented Mysore State as a passionate young athlete and their mother, already a successful teacher, chose to pursue her Masters degree in Literature at the age of 50. They were the ideal parents who brought their daughters up to be strong, independent women but at the same time, took care of their needs and were present whenever they needed the support.
Who could have guessed that these two solid individuals, who never had the word “can’t” in their vocabulary, would be reduced to mere vegetative states, as the dreaded Parkinson’s disease hit them one after the other?
Heartbroken, Sabrina and Samara watch their parents degenerate slowly, with no hope for recovery or an end to their misery. As they go through the trials of life, their growing family struggles to come to terms with Parkinsonism, a disease that presently has no cure. Through all the highs and lows, Sabrina recognizes the value of living in the moment and treasuring the beautiful memories one makes with family—even with a bend in the river of life.