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Divorcee Dish

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally tumultuous experience, further complicated by the involvement of children and extended families. In recent years, the pandemic and global economic strains have exacerbated these difficulties, causing a notable surge in divorce rates. Erin Dullaghan Jones, in her timely book, The Divorcee Dish, offers a thoughtful guide to help individuals, particularly women, navigate the intricate dynamics of divorce with grace and resilience.

Jones begins her narrative by recounting her personal story of meeting her ex-husband and their subsequent marriage within two years. Their journey was marred by the tragic loss of their first and third children through miscarriages, which, along with her ex-husband’s high-demand travel job, significantly strained their relationship.

Throughout the book, Jones enriches her storytelling with practical advice and introspective prompts designed to guide readers through each stage of the divorce process. She firmly believes in the therapeutic benefits of journaling and incorporates a section titled ‘Time to Dish,’ which offers engaging questions to prompt reflective writing.

Jones provides a comprehensive guide on how to communicate the news of divorce to children, drawing from her own experiences as both a child of divorce and a divorcee. She thoughtfully addresses the myriad of questions that may arise from children, regardless of their age. She also shines a light on the emotional rollercoaster that often accompanies divorce, offering insight into the stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance (DABDA).

But Jones’s book is not solely focused on the hardships. She also accentuates the importance of personal well-being and self-care, offering advice on how to date post-divorce, when to introduce new partners to children, and many other aspects of life after divorce. One of the notable sections details her experiences with dating, where she humorously recounts identifying red flags on a date.

The Divorcee Dish comes highly recommended not only for those currently navigating divorce but also for singles contemplating marriage. Jones’s advice on dating, journaling, and personal care earns a remarkable five-star rating. Beyond being an insightful read, this book serves as a valuable handbook to be revisited during both challenging and triumphant times.

Pages: 111 | ASIN : B0BPF2XCV9

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Love, Kisses, & Crazy White Jackets

Love, Kisses and Crazy White Jackets by Amelia Stephen is the love story of two teenagers -Amelia and Mitch, whose relationship seems to be “made in the stars.” In time, Amelia sees another side of Mitch she fears. “He was a picture of contrast, gentle, but yet so full of conflict and rage.” After seeing this side, their relationship changes. She is left to deal with her conflicting feelings. She loves Mitch and yet hates the physical abuse he has inflicted upon her. Now she questions what she should do?

While dealing with the serious issue of teen domestic violence, the author is able to show the humanity of both Amelia and Mitch.  The reader senses Amelia and Mitch’s love for each other despite their difficulties. Both are multifaceted characters shaped by their life experiences. Within the story, Mitch is not just an abuser but also a victim of abuse himself.  The author also shows how Amelia can love the abuser while hating the abusive behavior. This author’s message is powerful because it is based on her life story.

However, the limitations of the author’s telling of this story occur when scenes change. Often the transitions from one time/place to another seem abrupt and unconnected to the main story. The reader was often left to make the connections on their own about the relevance of the scenes. It was not clear how the scenes connected until one reaches the end of her story. The scenes that often appeared random were the author’s way of showing the two separate lives she lived in order to keep the abuse a secret from family and friends. 

Love, Kisses and Crazy White Jackets is a compelling true story about one woman’s ability to love and the challenges that come with love. The author had to make choices that many women, unfortunately, will face, and she gives inspiration and strength to those women that they can move forward and that it is ok to feel hurt at leaving a bad situation. If you enjoy memoirs and stories of survival, this book is for you.

Pages: 226 | ASIN : B079651FQR

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Life Giving Dementia Care

Life Giving Dementia Care: Let’s Talk: How to Bring Confidence, Compassion and Joy Into Your Role as a Caregiver is a half memoir half guide book by Toni Kanzler about, as the title suggests, patients diagnosed with dementia.

In the very first few pages of the book, we find out that Kanzler is a woman with many ambitions; however, being a caregiver was never one of them, as is the case with most caregivers. She found herself in a situation where both her parents were dementia patients and passed away due to a terminal illness. Besides taking care of her parents to the best of her abilities, this was a wake-up call for Kanzler that she is at a high risk of getting dementia. In the hopes that her sons would take care of her if and when that time comes, she decided to leave them something where she would point to the mistakes and good things that happened while she was a caregiver, so they don’t make the same mistakes and have more joyful moments. Thus this book was created.

The book is divided into a few parts covering the early, middle, last, and after stages. Kanzler takes us through the whole journey from the earliest symptoms like crying and then forgetting that they have called, doctor visits and diagnosis, the hardships, mistakes, good times, saying goodbye, and the aftermath of it all from a caregiver’s point of view as well as a patient’s point of view to better understand what our loved one may be or will be going through.

Toni writes in a casual yet deeply touching tone, from her introduction and her stories to the book’s final words. Yet, she manages to get her point across to anyone who decides to give it a chance or needs it.

And just as every book finds you at the right time, this one found me just a few weeks after losing someone dear to Alzheimer’s. I was nowhere near being the caretaker of my loved one or even involved in helping her, so this book was almost a lecture about what the people closest to me dealt with because of the illness.

Life Giving Dementia Care by Toni Kanzler is primarily targeted at caregivers. Still, I recommend it to anyone dealing with or dealing with this disease, medical and psychology students, or anyone just eager to learn something new. 

Pages: 237 | ASIN : B08PYM45YD

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A Caregiver’s Love Story

A Caregiver’s Love Story is an awe-inspiring memoir by Nancie Wiseman Attwater. This passionate story goes into detail about her and her husband’s life together throughout the good and the bad, sickness and health, just like they promised each other the day they said I do.

Bill and Nancie grew up and lived very different lives until they met. From a young age, Bill was a curious child who grew into a hardworking, accomplished lawyer. On the other hand, Nancie had a rough upbringing with her father dying when she was just 4 years old and her mother, who wasn’t around much. Years went by before life would bring them together in Nancie’s store. They would go on to marry and live a life full of changes and growth, as any marriage does. Bill started experiencing health problems, including lung disease and dementia, so Nancie took on the role of primary caregiver.

This extraordinary book is much more than just a captivating memoir of two people who have a deep love and care for one another. This book also serves as a guide for others who are experiencing similar situations. Attwater covers various health issues, treatments, and helpful tips on specific devices to use to help your loved ones get around. The author also shares with readers the toll that her husband’s health issues took on her as she dealt with loneliness and exhaustion.

This relatable read contains a substantial amount of helpful information for caregivers and for those in the health field. The author’s tone throughout her novel is loving and conversational, as I felt the genuine love that she had for her husband. Towards the end of the memoir, I felt connected to Nancie and Bill because I knew so much about their childhood, adulthood, and retirement years.

Attwater shares her personal story with us and touches readers’ hearts, making this one read that is hard to put down. A Caregiver’s Love Story is an excellent read for anyone interested in a heartwarming memoir.

Pages: 254 | ASIN : B0B1VYJZFK

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