The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Hello Everyone!  I wasn’t sure if I would be posting a review for this particular book, but the deeper into the story I dug, the more engrossed I became.  Allow me to express myself regarding The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving.

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The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Book Review by Laura the Book Enthusiast

Gerald Jampolsky once said, “Forgiveness means letting go of the past.” A simple philosophy to have, but very difficult in its execution.  In The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Jonathan Evison weaves together a thematic story about life, death, loss, and letting go.  Ultimately, the idea of forgiveness is at the heart of this touching novel.  The best part of it is, it’s all done in humor.  It’s one of those stories where you can laugh and cry all within a few pages.  Evison balances emotions beautifully, allowing us to smile even despite the tragedy that befalls Benjamin Benjamin.

No, the above is not a typo, the protagonist’s name is Ben Benjamin.  From the moment you meet Ben, you know that he is a good man, but something has broken him.  He is a man on the verge of divorce, with Stay at Home Dad being the steadiest job he can add to his resume.  Ben decides to become a caregiver, which is how he meets Trev, a young man with muscle dystrophy.   A close friendship develops between the two, and Ben comes to find that he needs Trev just as much as Trev needs Ben.  Benjamin and Trevor decide to embark on a road trip, unaware of the self-discovery that awaits them.

I will admit, this story was a little slow going the first few chapters, but, as the road trip progressed, I found myself more and more engrossed.  Watching the broken Ben begin to heal, and seeing the disabled Trev begin to truly live, made the wait for the action worth it.  We get to meet Dot, and Peaches, two young women on journeys of their own, who end up at the same fork in the road as Ben and Trev, pun intended.  While the character’s destinations may be different, they will find their way together.

Caregiving is full of heart, of laughs, of tears, of contemplation.  If tragedy befalls us, is that it?  Are we stuck in this never-ending feeling of hopelessness, despair, and even guilt?  Can we learn to let go?  Can we forgive the most difficult person to forgive, ourselves?  Will Benjamin Benjamin achieve this end?  You will have to read Evison’s novel to find out.

Pick up a copy of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving at your local library or bookstore.  Better yet, pick up the audiobook version, and take it on a road trip; Ben and Trev would approve.

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