Book Review & Giveaway: Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Publisher:  She Writes Press, (April 27, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Divorce, Parenting, Moral Conflict, Caring for Disabled, Caregiver
ISBN: 978-1647420321
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages

Description

Rachel likes to think of herself as a nice Jewish girl, dedicated to doing what’s honorable, just as her parents raised her to do. But when her husband, David, survives a plane crash and is left with severe brain damage, she faces a choice: will she dedicate her life to caring for a man she no longer loves, or walk away?

Their marriage had been rocky at the time of the accident, and though she wants to do the right thing, Rachel doesn’t know how she is supposed to care for two kids in addition to a now irrational, incontinent, and seizure-prone grown man. And how will she manage to see her lover? But then again, what kind of selfish monster would refuse to care for her disabled husband, no matter how unhappy her marriage had been? Rachel wants to believe that she can dedicate her life to David’s needs, but knows in her heart it is impossible.

Crash tackles a pervasive dilemma in our culture: the moral conflicts individuals face when caregiving for a disabled or cognitively impaired family member.

Amazon
BarnesandNoble
Indiebound

Guest Review by Sage Nor

A heart wrenching look at the underappreciated caregivers in our lives.

Rachel Michelberg was a young mother of two when her husband, a pilot, was in a terrible accident. His plane crashed into a vineyard in California, and David Michelberg was left with severe brain damage as well as spinal damage. This kind of catastrophe would be enough to destroy almost anyone’s life, but Rachel had an added problem.

Before the crash, she and David’s marriage was already in trouble, and Rachel had begun seeing another man. Now, Rachel must care for a husband that she is not sure she feels anything for beyond duty. And, of course, caring for someone with such severe injuries is a full time job.

David is capable of speech and some memory, but he doesn’t remember his children and he is prone to fits of irrationality. Between caring for her children and health issues of her own, Rachel struggles to take care of a husband who has mentally regressed back to the state of a small child and take care of herself at the same time.

Michelberg’s writing was fantastic and she held nothing back from scrutiny. Reading this book felt like an intimate look at the life of someone suffering through a time that most of us hope we’ll never have to face and getting through it in a realistic way. Despite putting all of her flaws out for everyone in the world to see, Michelberg was so sympathetic and so easy to understand.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone that you love going through something so terrible and irreversible. ‘Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver’ changed my mind and my opinions in a lot of ways, and it’s one memoir that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come.

About the Author

Rachel Michelberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and still enjoys living there with her husband, Richard, and their two dogs, Nala and Beenie. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from San Jose State University and has performed leading roles in musicals and opera from Carmen to My Fair Lady as well as the part of the Mother Abbess (three times!) in The Sound of Music.

When Rachel isn’t working with one of her twenty voice and piano students, she loves gardening, hiking, and making her own bone broth. CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.

Website: https://www.rachelmauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelMAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RMichelberg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmichelbergauthor/

Giveaway

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only for the choice of print or eBook for each winner. It ends on May 18, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Benefits of Breathing by Christopher Meeks

Publisher: White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Relationships
ISBN: Coming Soon
Available in: Print & ebook, 238 Pages

The Benefits of Breathing

In The Benefits of Breathing, his third collection of short stories, Christopher Meeks dives again into the human condition, particularly within relationships.  As one reader wrote on Amazon, “Some authors need a lot of words to describe their worlds and their people. Christopher Meeks says a lot with a little.” The Los Angeles Times has called his stories “poignant and wise.”

In this volume, “A Dog Story” captures a crumbled marriage and the love of a dog named Scrappy. “Joni Paredes” shows the birth of a new relationship that starts at a daughter’s wedding. “Nestor by the Numbers” follows one man’s often hilarious online dating experiences after he finally accepts his wife is gone. “Jerry with a Twist” shows an actor on an audition while his pregnant girlfriend helps him through a crisis. These and seven other stories will bring you into the special world of Meeks.

As reviewer Grady Harp notes, if you’ve previously “discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks’ writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence.” Try this book. You’ll have a lot to think about.

Amazon 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read A Death in Las Vegas and gave it 5 stars, so I was looking forward to reading something else by Christopher Meeks.

The Benefits of Breathing is a collection of short stories about relationships, lost love, divorce, and finding new love. Some of the stories are longer than others, some of them I didn’t care much for (but I’m a romantic at heart), and some I enjoyed and connected to. I like Christopher Meeks’ writing style so, even if I didn’t like how a story ended, it still flowed with the rest of the stories.

We, as human beings, are pretty messed up. That shows clearly in these stories. I want happy endings, but we don’t always get those. I don’t want to go into specifics and ruin anything, but some of the stories have sad endings but some are happy. One even tickled me in a macabre sort of way.

If you’re a fan of short stories, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Benefits of Breathing. The people and situations in it are so realistic, that even those who aren’t big fans of short stories may find these interesting and thought-provoking.

Praise for Benefits of Breathing

“Chris Meeks is a descriptive writer whose style paints a clear picture of everyday real life traumas. This story is about ordinary people and common problems; including how effective communication is so difficult to cultivate, especially when working through an emotional situation like a divorce. The reader can easily sense the strain of the failing relationship.”-T.M.S., Amazon

“Thoroughly enjoyed this short but bittersweet divorce story. It’s impossible to read anything Chris writes and fail to see pieces of yourself in the lines. Hope you keep them coming, Chris!”- Ksinteriors, Amazon

“I’ve read much of Meeks’ work. His attention to detail and ability to show rather than tell is unique and engaging.”-Kevin Gerard, Amazon

“While James Joyce was a trailblazer in the genre of literary fiction, Meeks surpasses him with crisp plainspoken prose abundant with brilliant humor and wit. Chris Meeks is one of those rare prolific and masterful writers whose stories and novels leave his audiences with a sense of satisfaction and enriching views of the human condition and humanity.”- James V Jordan, Amazon

Awards and Recognition

Book of the Year Bronze Award from ForeWord Reviews (2017): ‘The Chords of War’

ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award (2011)- ‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2011-‘Love At Absolute Zero’

Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009- ‘The Brightest Moon of the Century’

About the Author

Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has five novels and two collections of short fiction published. The Benefits of Breathing’ is his third collection of short stories.

He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections “Months and Seasons” and “The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea.” Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, “Who Lives?” had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.

Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in Pasadena, CA.

Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Christopher-Meeks-212382392140974/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christopher.meeks1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeeksChris

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends June 27, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Short Story Review: Never Ever by Gita Reddy

29487883Title: Never Ever

Author: Gita Reddy

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: March 10, 2016

 

Description

After thirteen years of marriage, Raj utters the D-Word, and it reverberates between him and his wife, Divya, who is deaf.
Never Ever is a story about love, marriage, divorce, and commitment.

 

My Review

I received a free ecopy of this short story for an honest review.

Although this is a short story, Gita Reddy does a good job of relating how important communication is in a relationship. And when one spouse is deaf, it makes communicating even more difficult if she decides she doesn’t want to listen.

Having a good marriage doesn’t just happen…it’s work. Raj and Divya learn this when they stop communicating. He has just become a partner and is working a lot of hours and isn’t respectful enough to let her know when he won’t be home for dinner. Divya is a stay at home mom who insists on keeping up the Indian tradition of cooking a meal every day for her family. She’s lonely and when Raj mentions divorce, she regrets not keeping her job when they got married. Is divorce where they’re headed? What about the children?

The emotions of both Raj and Divya are depicted well by Gita Reddy. I love the ending of this story! It is an example of how marriage should work.

Available on Amazon.

 

About the Author

7023197Gita V.Reddy is a writer of fiction for middle-graders and adults. She enjoys thinking up tales of different genres. She has written mysteries, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and even an animal tale for children.

She wrote and illustrated her first picture book for kids in August, 2015. She plans to write a few more because the experience was very satisfying.

Ms Reddy was born in India, is a post graduate in Mathematics, worked in a bank for twenty-six years, is married to a physics professor, has a son doing research in neuro-electronics, and loves literature. Yes, her life is as mixed up as the multiple genres she writes.

She enjoys painting and spending time with her family, and LOVES walking in the rain.

She also writes under the name Heera Datta

Visit her website: www.gitavreddy.com
and facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gita-R…