Item description for God's Waiting Room by Helen M. Lambert...
This is a story of the agoldena age of seniors, as seen through the eyes of a precocious seven-year-old girl. Davi meets the elderly people living in her grandparentas condominium complex, many of whom are suffering from infirmities she has never encountered before, and some who are simply acrackpots, a as her grandfather, Paul, describes them. There are the ahata ladies in the pool, the cantankerous Mr. Dalton, a ninety-year-old artist, a nearly blind golfer, and many more. However, she interacts with them impartially, and soon her loquacity, humor, and simplicity charm even the most disheartened among them. Davias initial response to her grandfatheras Alzheimeras disease is fright and bewilderment but quickly turns to caring and beneficial support for him, his wife, and Davias mother, Paula, who also begins to see these elders in a different light as she watches her daughteras relationship with them.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 5.98" Height: 1.05" Weight: 1.51 lbs.
Release Date Apr 28, 2008
ISBN 1604743859 ISBN13 9781604743852
Reviews - What do customers think about God's Waiting Room?
A Worthwhile Read May 13, 2010
I very much enjoyed God's Waiting Room, by Helen Lambert. It is an ambitious novel with an interesting storyline and well-developed characters.
The primary story focuses on three generations of women: Susanne Russell, her daughter Paula Lenox and Paula's seven-year-old daughter, Davi. The mental decline of Paul Russell (Susanne's husband and Paula's father), due to Alzheimer's disease, functions as a central catalyst to the story. But God's Waiting Room is not about dementia.
The book offers a realistic (but optimistic) view of what it is like to cope with the many types of losses that inevitably accompany aging. Scattered throughout the novel are well-developed, secondary characters coping with various maladies. We have "hat" ladies in the pool coping with hearing issues, a nearly blind golfer who refuses to give up the game he loves. Everyone seems to be facing some challenge and all are dealing with the reality of being less than they were.
How the characters that inhabit God's Waiting Room address this reality is at the core of the novel. The ability to cope with loss through humor and courage as displayed by Susanne, Paul, Paula and the other characters in the novel reflect the overriding philosophy of the book. The many absurdities of old age provide much of the humor in the book. The dialogue between the characters is very strong and there are many laugh out loud moments.
The novel ultimately presents an optimistic view of life -- even for those who are close to the end of it. When Davi, the seven-year-old, observes at the end of the novel, "this whole place is a pretty nice waiting room", we are left to believe that her mother and grandparents continue to share this view.
While the book, Helen Lambert's first, is long in parts and not without shortcomings, it is a worthwhile read. There is much to recommend in the book and the author's approach to life and aging.
Touching and accurate story of the Alzheimer's journey Nov 13, 2009
Losing a loved one to dementia bit-by-bit is a traumatic experience; the grief of which I'm convinced takes longer to heal than that of losing the person. Helen Lambert's thoughtful book is a salve for anyone on this journey. It is the people and not the disease who are the focus of the story. Lambert's descriptions of the stages of the disease, the victim's reactions, and the emotions of his loved ones ring true. Anyone reading this book will care about these characters.
Davi, a remarkable seven-year-old, treats her grandfather the same throughout the stages of Alzheimer's disease. She has the ability to cheer him up even if he mistakes her for his own daughter (Davi's mother), or doesn't recognize her at all. Davi's grandparents manage to disguise their own heart-wrenching fear of the disease around Davi, but at the same time they are honest with her.
Susanne's character is drawn particularly well. Lambert describes Susanne's initial denial of her husband's disease, and the actions and words she employs to hide it from her family. As the disease progresses and she can no longer hide it, she realizes she needs some help with Paul. Having help in the house allows Susanne to go to a caregiver's group where she gets valuable support, strategies, and preparation for what lies ahead. Davi's parents can see the toll the disease is taking on Susanne and encourage her to take care of herself. The usually stoic Susanne ultimately falls apart and tearfully describes how it feels to watch the love of her life become a shell of who he once was. Eventually Susanne and her family realize that it is unsafe for either Paul or Susanne with him living at home. Davi, trying to reconcile her feelings about Paul's new home, calls the nursing home "God's Waiting Room".
Helen M. Lambert wrote her novel, "God's Waiting Room" too late to guide me during my mother's ordeal with dementia. It is my hope that other family members and friends of dementia victims will sit down with this book and learn not only the signs and treatments of the disease but the emotions and obstacles that caregivers and families encounter. There's grief and trauma, and there are feelings of relief and guilt about the relief. This book will go a long way to prepare caregivers and loved ones and show them that they are not alone on this frightening journey.
Fantastic! So engaging, even I could not put it down. Oct 2, 2009
This is a book I think most everyone should read. Why? Because it allows us to step back and take perspective on what is important in life - how we treat and care for other people, especially our family. All of the characters are imperfect and, therefore, likeable. An easy and enjoyable read (yes, I noticed the number pages, too, but really it is). As an avid reader (50-100 books per year), I find few that are really pageturners. This was one that each day I really looked forward to picking up again. The ending was wonderful, demonstrating the author's appreciation for the people, rather than the disease, being the true focus of the story. Overlook the typos (I was advised of this before I started), as they are many due to the quality of the publisher, and you will be invited into a respectful and caring family who really learn to enjoy and appreciate one another (for all their eccentricities!).