The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel

3.78 avg rating
( 9,060 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781616200398: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Jonathan Evison has crafted a novel of the heart, a novel of unlikely heroes traveling through a grand American landscape, and most of all, a story that offers a profound look into what it takes to truly care for another person. Bursting with energy and filled with moments of absolute beauty, this bighearted and inspired novel ponders life’s terrible surprises as well as its immeasurable rewards.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Amazon Exclusive: Essay by Jonathan Evison

"Listen to me: everything you think you know, every relationship you’ve ever taken for granted, every plan or possibility you’ve ever hatched, every conceit or endeavor you’ve ever concocted, can be stripped from you in an instant. Sooner or later, it will happen. So prepare yourself. Be ready not to be ready. Be ready to be brought to your knees and beaten to dust. Because no stable foundation, no act of will, no force of cautious habit will save you from this fact: nothing is indestructible."

— from The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

The weekend of my sister’s sixteenth birthday, she took a road trip with some friends down to Lucerne Valley in the Mojave Desert. For two weeks prior, the trip was a source of debate around our dinner table. My old man reasoned that since she was a responsible kid, got good grades, fed her pets, and honored her curfew, she ought to be allowed to take the trip. My mother reasoned that it was a bad idea. She didn’t trust the other kids. They were a scraggly bunch.

My sister took the trip. She never came home. She was killed in a freak car accident the weekend she turned sixteen years old. The incident, the specifics of which have never been explained satisfactorily by anyone, all but exploded my family. My parents divorced after twenty-five years of marriage. I lost what amounted to my primary caregiver. My oldest brother was deeply depressed for two years afterward and was really never the same in some fundamental way. To this day, my family is still feeling the shockwaves. I’m still walking around with this sister-shaped hole in my heart. After a few beers, my brother will still lament the fact that he owed her seven bucks at the time of the accident. The seven bucks had been a point of contention involving the sale of a ten-speed bike. They argued fiercely about the money up until the day she left. At fifty-seven, my brother is still trying to pay that debt.

There are holes in our lives that can never be filled--not really, not ever. And yet, we have no choice but to try to fill them. We must drive on in the face of debilitating loss, crippling guilt, overwhelming hopelessness. Because to give up is to be dead. I’ve lived with this idea since I was five years old.

Ben Benjamin is a character who has lost virtually everything--his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. Broken, stripped down, stricken, and without hope, Ben is a shadow of his old self. He has been a stay-at-home dad for nearly a decade, so the job market has all but passed him by. With few options, Ben registers for a twenty-eight-hour night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, where, in the sweltering basement of the Abundant Life Foursquare Church, Ben learns how to insert catheters and avoid liability. He learns about professionalism and how to erect and maintain certain boundaries, how to keep physical and emotional distance between the client and the care provider. He learns that caregiving is just a job. But when Ben finds himself assigned to a tyrannical nineteen-year-old named Trev, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists presented in his class have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, scared, sexually frustrated adolescent with an ax to grind with the world at large.

When I set out to write this novel, I didn’t envision it as a road novel. I’ve never had a desire to write a road novel--in fact, I was very resistant to the idea. But the characters led me to the road. They left me no choice. They all but dragged me kicking and screaming to the road. It seemed Ben and Trev were always driving around in that van of Trev’s, but they were never getting anywhere. They were both stuck. They needed that van to deliver them somewhere--and I guess I needed it, too. Because that’s where this novel delivered me. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is a story of total collapse, and ultimately, reconstruction. Before it is over, this calamitous journey will cover five states, resulting in one birth, two arrests, and one instance of cannibalism and including a dust storm, a hail storm, several shit storms, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious Buick Skylark.

Baggage is collected.

Hearts are won and lost.

Mistakes are forgiven.

Futures are realized.

This book represents nothing less than an emotional catharsis for its author. I wrote this book because I needed to. Because my sister went on a road trip thirty-nine years ago and never came back. And my family has yet to heal from this terrible fact. This novel is about the imperative of getting in that van, because you have no choice but to push yourself and drive on, and keep driving in the face of life’s terrible surprises. It’s about the people and the things you gather along that rough road back to humanity. And in the end, for me, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is the van in which I finally bring my sister home.

About the Author:

Jonathan Evison is the author of four previous novels, including All About LuluWest of HereThe Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

List Price: US$ 23.95
US$ 4.99

Convert currency

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781616203153: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1616203153 ISBN 13:  9781616203153
Publisher: Algonquin Books, 2013
Softcover

9781781851777: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Head o..., 2001
Softcover

9781781851753: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Head o...
Hardcover

9781781851760: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving

Head o...
Softcover

9781443447478: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel

Harper..., 2015
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Kate's Kwik Ship Books
(Charlotte, NC, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391 New Book with Dust Jacket. Purchased from Sale Table at local book retailer(all new books). I have examined all aspects of this volume and find no flaws whatsoever. (Note:Your Satisfaction is Guaranteed. If you are not completely happy, we will refund your money immediately.no questions asked. Books purchased before 11am EST normally shipped same day.) collectable. Seller Inventory # H12X09XX0012

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 4.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Best Bates
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.61
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books 2012-08-28 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Ebooksweb
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books 2012-08-28, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st Printing. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.75
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Booklot
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
PublisherOverstocks
(Taunton, MA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Bookhouse
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391. Seller Inventory # Z1616200391ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Jonathan Evison
Published by Algonquin Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1616200391

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 23.87
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.77
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Evison, Jonathan
Published by Algonquin Books
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1616200391 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1180593

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 39.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Jonathan Evison
Published by Algonquin Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 1616200391 ISBN 13: 9781616200398
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

Book Description Algonquin Books, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st Printing. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1616200391n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 89.80
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds