Autumn's Grace by Lendrum BonnieAutumn's Grace by Lendrum Bonnie

Autumn's Grace

byLendrum Bonnie

Paperback | May 30, 2013

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Families who would want to honour a parent's request to not die in hospital, encounter obstacles that can defeat even accomplished health professionals. Autumns' Grace is a story that spans a ten-month period as the Campbell family comes to terms with the father's diagnosis of cancer. The diagnosis seems a particularly unfair blow to a veterinarian who has lived a very healthy lifestyle. In addition he has treated his animal patients and their owners with more respect and compassion than many of the human health professionals are willing or able to provide. The adult children (two nurses, veterinarian, and teacher) confront a health care system they thought they knew, and familial relationships that they had avoided for decades. Generational pulls and career conflicts challenge the siblings as they support their parents, conduct their own family and professional lives, and are forced to face critical situations and the decisions that they must make. They muddle through with varying doses of tenacity, courage, humour and hope.
Bonnie Lendrum is a wife, mother, nurse, gardener, volunteer, and ballet student living in Carlisle, Ontario. The latter activity is an attempt to defy the age-associated effects of gravity. A former community nurse, she has cared for patients and families in the ICU and in their homes, directed large departments, and participated in r...
Title:Autumn's GraceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:May 30, 2013Publisher:Inanna PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1926708881

ISBN - 13:9781926708881


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Autumn's Grace I enjoyed reading Autumn's Grace; rang true from my recent experience. Nice combination of introspection and dialogue; the more people we have talking about palliative care, the better it may be when we need it.
Date published: 2014-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-written, stirring and informative A sensitive topic courageously explored. In 1983, along with my siblings, we went on this same journey when my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Our journey was only 6 months and at the time I had a baby and toddler. Taking the journey again through ‘Autumn’s Grace’ gave me the opportunity to fill in the blanks and explore feelings that I had long buried. Today, my father is in his autumn years celebrating his 93rd birthday this week. The story has now better prepared me for this same journey with my father. Bonnie’s exploration of family relationships and how each person struggles with their own emotions throughout the journey was inspiring. In addition to the compassionate side of the story, I am extremely grateful to have learned some of the complexities of the health care system and will be able to apply much of what I learned! A great read, thank you Bonnie
Date published: 2013-09-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling read! Autumn’s Grace - I enjoyed this book, despite its difficult subject matter. I felt that the author skilfully illustrated the subtle nuances of relationships within a family, and the difficulties in navigating a stressful crisis, such as a terminal illness. I clearly sensed the author’s personal experience as a long time participant in the Ontario health care system, but the story was told with alternating tones of humour, compassion, and frustration, the balance of these being perfectly played. In the end, you realize that people are not perfect, families are not perfect, systems are not perfect, and certainly dying is not perfect. It is, however, a very human experience that we all want to have with our dignity intact, and hopefully some loved ones to share it with.
Date published: 2013-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hard truth in an excellent story In Autumn’s Grace Bonnie Lendrum pulls no punches in her engrossing chronicle of the struggles of a contemporary Canadian family during the physical and emotional decline and death of its patriarch from abdominal cancer. While Lendrum has a clear agenda, the exposure of the weaknesses and some of the strengths of the health care system in meeting the needs of the terminally ill and their families, she promotes it through engaging characterization and compelling story telling rather than through polemics. She expertly describes the clinical progression and treatment of the illness unrelentingly and minutely and, as someone who recently supported a loved one through an uncannily similar ordeal, I found every detail heartbreakingly true to life. Lendrum uses shifting points of view, especially those of the dying man’s two eldest daughters, to present a realistic and sympathetic picture of the frustration, the emotional roller coaster and the profound effects, both positive and negative, on family dynamics engendered by such a crisis. Through her characters she explores the fragility, the persistence and the changing nature of hope during an illness with an inevitable outcome, and this is one of the most interesting and effective themes of this multifaceted story. The minor key of the narrative is brightened by the backdrop in which parts of the story play. Autumn’s Grace presents a loving look at the landscape, people and traditional way of life in rural and small town Ontario, effectively contrasting them with the frenetic pace of modern urban family and professional life. Autumn’s Grace is a “must read” for everyone whose family has experienced or may experience a serious health care crisis. That means us all.
Date published: 2013-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Perfect Autumn's Grace reveals a family's struggle to come to terms with the terminal cancer diagnosis for the patriarch, and the ensuing challenges the family members confront in the healthcare system. Ms. Lendrum provides an expert and honest view on the latter given her years of experience working in healthcare in Canada. Having worked as a nurse and administrator in healthcare myself for many years, I can confirm the "discoveries" that the family members make about navigating the system, from symptom onset to diagnosis to treatment and finally to "managing the dying piece". Jessie, the daughter, is a fierce protagonist who provides razor sharp commentary about the idiocies and inadequacies she faces in getting the best information and care for her father. She also describes the frustrations that adult children experience when dealing with the beliefs and behaviours of aging parents. The author's sense of humour shines through, such that even as I was grimacing at the detailed descriptions of bodily functions, I laughed out loud at the honest interactions between family members, and at the descriptions of various health care professionals - nurses, physicians, managers - since these rang true with my own experiences. This novel will provide the reader with a deep understanding and appreciation of what "dying" is like for the patient and their family, and what is needed for a "good death". Since all of us have a terminal diagnosis, it is wise to be prepared, for ourselves and our loved ones. Ms. Lendrum provides an excellent "User's Guide" to the inevitable!
Date published: 2013-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Helpful and Insightful Autumn's Grace allowed me to reflect on my own father's final days - a time of agonizing joy. The book captures the physical, emotional and spiritual vulnerability of a family's journey through illness. Helpful and insightful - thank you Bonnie.
Date published: 2013-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great Having lost both my parents last year it was great to read this book and realize everything my family went through was what every other family experiences. I laughed and cried my way from cover to cover! Everyone should read this book!
Date published: 2013-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compassionate and compelling! Bonnie's book provides valuable insights into the heart-wrenching struggles that families may experience as they strive for their loved ones to have the best possible end-of-life care. Compassionate and compelling, this book should motivate health care professionals to continue their work toward a seamless and coordinated health care system that can best meet the patient's and their families' needs.
Date published: 2013-07-18