THE SWEET BY AND BY by Todd Johnson | Kirkus ReviewsGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
Delving Into a Nursing Home—and Finding Compassion and Humor
Thank you! Lorraine, an African-American practical nurse, suppresses traumatic memories of an abusive husband and the crib death of her firstborn by concentrating on creating a semblance of normalcy for her charges at Ridgecrest, a North Carolina nursing home. Rhonda, painfully conscious of her poor white origins, does hair at Ridgecrest once a week, and, spurred on by Margaret, Lorraine and Bernice, gradually gains self-acceptance. After the adventure proves too much for Bernice she passes away in her sleep in the hotel room , the story loses whatever impetus it had. Letters left behind, written by Bernice to her beloved younger son Wade after his death in a car crash, convincingly if anticlimactically document her descent into madness.
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Sign up for our newsletters! Recently, a music ensemble in which I participate accepted an invitation to perform at a local nursing home during the December holidays. Although many of our members enjoyed the opportunity to connect with its residents over music, others privately confessed a reluctance to do so, saying that nursing homes make them emotionally uncomfortable. At the center of the novel are two of its residents, Margaret Clayton and Bernice Stokes. Margaret is still totally lucid, at times much to the dismay of the home's nurses and administrators, as well as the less-than-perfect families of other residents. She has a tendency to be bossy and self-righteous, but she also cares deeply about the people in her life. Bernice is one of those people, even though she couldn't be less like Margaret.