Caregiver Gets Something In Return

Greta Ulrich reviews 'Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,' a novel about a man who tries to regain a career by becoming a caregiver. What he learns from his patient--and the wacky people they encounter-- is more than he bargained for.


Book Review

Revised Fundamentals  of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison                                                      Review by Greta Ulrich


When Ben Benjamin signs up for a course to learn how to be a caregiver, he looks at this training as a last chance to help people.  He has been a stay at home dad for ten years and has lost his family, his home, his self-respect and his sense of purpose.  In the ten years he was at home the working world has passed him by and he now has few marketable job skills.  He spends his time hanging out with his friends and playing darts.  After completing his caregiver training Ben gets a job.  He is hired to take care of Trevor, a young man with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, and after some initial awkwardness, he and Trevor form a bond and a friendship. 

Ben and Trevor decide to take a road trip to visit Ben’s father, Bob, who left the family when Trevor was a boy.  Bob is like a child who cannot grow up.  He wants to be a real dad to Trevor but lacks the drive and maturity to do so.    Trevor has a wonderful mother, Elsa, but all the years of taking care of Trevor on her own have left her exhausted.

As Trevor and Ben go on their road trip, they encounter some wacky characters on the way.  One is Dot, a young woman whom Trevor develops a crush on.   Ben and Trevor also give a ride to a young pregnant woman named Peaches, who goes into labor while they are on the road.

By the end of the story, Trevor has developed some maturity and self-confidence, and Ben may be able to move forward with his life.  This is a moving story about two troubled people who learn to help each other.

This touching novel is available at the Niles Public Library District in regular print, Large Print and eBook formats.

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