Montpelier Tomorrow

Marylee MacDonald
All Things That Matter Press (2014)
ISBN 9780990715818
Reviewed by Ben Green for Reader Views (03/15)

“Montpelier Tomorrow” by Marylee MacDonald is an insightful, sometime humorous look at the serious issue of ALS. The characters interaction throughout the book is awesome, and the story is well written and constructed. “Montpelier Tomorrow” is the kind of book that once you pick it up, you won’t want to put down. The story begins when a family member is diagnosed with ALS and progresses as the family deals with the inevitable issues that arise both from the diagnosis and other common family issues. The book is wonderfully written and it's easy to lose yourself in the story. The characters develop throughout the book and are clearly flawed humans.

For me it was easy to initially feel sorry for Tony when he first begins his battle with ALS, but somewhere along the way I began to dislike his selfishness.  It is this kind of subtle character development that makes “Montpelier Tomorrow” so good. Having grown up with an invalid grandfather, I can relate with many of the feelings and concerns the family express while dealing with Tony. I can also understand Colleen’s desire to help her daughter, but also the guilt of having to do so, even when Tony is not appreciative of Colleen or her daughter. MacDonald does an amazing job at bringing these issues and emotions to light as well as asking hard questions about life, health care, and the meaning of family. The relationships between the characters, especially the mother/daughter dynamic are fully developed.

The book is not short and while excellent, it is a serious read. That being said anyone who wants to know what it is like to live with someone who is disabled should read this story. More importantly if you like well written books, wonderfully developed characters, and a story with a greater purpose you should read “Montpelier Tomorrow” by Marylee MacDonald.  I cannot stress enough how good this book is, just make sure you have some time on your hands because this is not the kind of book you will knock out in two or three sittings. The author has experience as a caregiver and this experience becomes clear with the amount of detail put into the book.

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