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Lean on Me by Pat Simmons | Book review by Loraine Nunley #bookreview

What is this book about?

Tabitha Knicely is overwhelmed with sorrow and exhaustion caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. When her neighbor Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn’t realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha’s pain.

Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. Tabitha finds herself leaning on Marcus more and more. And he’s becoming more than happy to share her burdens…

My review:

This story deals with the tough topic of a caregiver’s struggles when taking care of a loved one with dementia. I thought the author handled it very well. Until you are in that situation, you just don’t have a clue what the caregivers go through. This fictional account did a good job of shedding light on it.

I really liked Tabitha. Her depth of love for her Aunt Tweet shone through even in the midst of her struggles to keep up with a condition that only gets worse.

Now Marcus was a different story. I really felt like the person he was at the beginning was a completely different man than the one who falls in love with Tabitha later in the story. And I did not like him for quite a few chapters. The transition from the man who accuses Tabitha of elder abuse to the one who becomes her champion was a little difficult to reconcile.

I liked that there was a journey to God for, not only Tabitha and Marcus, but also for Aunt Tweet. I was a little disappointed that Marcus’s salvation experience was glossed over. Not that I wanted to be preached at, but I thought a few paragraphs from his perspective of that experience in church would have been nice.

Overall, I liked the couple that Tabitha and Marcus became and thought that the realism of the struggles with dementia made for an interesting read.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

I liked Tabitha’s character the best and I was happy that she received her ‘happy ever after’ in the midst of her trials.

What I didn’t like about this book:

I didn’t like Marcus for the first part of the book. It was like meeting a different person entirely.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. I thought that the topic was handled very well with realism and sensitivity. I also enjoyed the romance between Tabitha and Marcus when they finally got together. This is the first book in this series.

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Pat Simmons, author website

-Loraine Nunley

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