Well I have to say I was squirming in my seat for a lot of the novel. Not in a bad way! A very thought provoking book.
I like how you left the ending hanging. Not knowing the ongoing fate of the characters had me pondering the impact of the events, particularly with regards to Rebecca. I keep thinking about the impact of all these events on her life and I wonder what fate she has been destined to?…
I like how you stirred the pot in regards to advance care directives. The commentary on directives from the characters tended to be one sided; however the voice of dissent in regards to ACDs is not particularly strong at this present time, so to have the characters present limitations around this process I think will be thought provoking to many. Directives are increasingly touted as the answer to all our woes and unfortunately I am starting to see examples of services and individuals absolving themselves from having ongoing therapeutic and sometimes difficult dialogue in regards to treatment choices and life values. Fatalistic assumptions that because the piece of paper is signed, we don’t have to talk about that anymore. Very sad really.
I keep thinking of Abraham too, how many of his foundations became unravelled so quickly. Someone who to others must have come across as so confident and strong and grounded. A reminder that grounding ourselves is a fairly tenuous concept and constantly needs to be re-examined as we move as individuals through time and place.
The most poignant part of the book for me by far was the relationship between Abraham and his father. My own father has a history of bipolar and is now in the advancing stages of dementia, often swinging between phases of delirium, anxiety, mania and depression. Much of my own ‘baggage’ through life came from the relationship with my father and the impact that his illness had through my childhood and then through my whole life. Hearing Abraham’s thoughts really struck a chord for me. It is a relationship that I am eternally bound to and has had an inextricable impact in defining who I am, so I agree with your professor Nevski. Watching my father in delirium now stirs up all the old detritus once again and it is hard to see the years of fermentation that had turned that s__t into fertiliser.
Thank you for some really challenging writing and for provoking reflection within my own life.