Friday, May 25, 2012

Entering the Blue Stone by Molly Best Tinsley

What happens when one’s larger-than-life military parents–disciplined, distinguished, exacting–begin sliding out of control? The General struggles to maintain his invulnerable façade against Parkinson’s disease; his lovely wife manifests a bizarre dementia. Their three grown children, desperate to save the situation, convince themselves of the perfect solution: an upscale retirement community. But as soon as their parents have been resettled within its walls, the many imperfections of its system of care begin to appear. Entering the Blue Stone asks us to take a skeptical look at our need to spin heroic narratives with happy endings. It suggests letting go of our persistent orientation to the future in order to appreciate what is here and now. Rather than taking a how-to approach to the increasingly common experience of caring for diminished parents, it offers a unique perspective on this challenge and weaves a very special form of support. It would make a splendid, thought-provoking choice for many book groups.

Entering the Blue Stone is a memoir, but it is so much more.  Chronically the life of Molly and her siblings as children to as they get older, watching their parents' lives spiral out of control.  It's desperation to grasp onto anything to fix something so wrong, but is that really the answer? Facing reality, what is the best case for all of those involved? Having to make some rather difficult, and life-changing, decisions myself over my father two years ago, this novel struck a little to close to home for me.  However, it does offer inspiration and urges us to appreciate what we have, now.  With grace, humor, warmth and tears, Entering the  Blue Stone is a gripping journey of strength, family, humor and letting go. I highly recommend it!! Thanks Molly for sharing your story.

A former professor of English at the United States Naval Academy, Molly Best Tinsley  is recognized as the first professoremerita in its history.  Her fiction has twice received  a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, as well as the Oregon Book Award and the Pushcart Prize.  She is the co-author of Satan’s Chamber (Fuze Publishing), Throwing Knives (Ohio State University Press), and My Life With Darwin (Houghton Mifflin).  Dr. Tinsley also co-authoredThe Creative Process (St. Martin’s), and her plays have been read or staged nationwide, from Seattle, to Houston, New York City, and Washington DC.  She lives in Oregon, where she divides her time between Ashland and Portland.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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