In The Song of Sadie Sparrow by Kitty Foth-Regner, Sadie’s assisted living facility could no longer meet her needs, so her daughter found a lovely new nursing home. Sadie feels sad and neglected by her daughter, but soon she makes friends with the other residents and staff and gets involved in the activities.
Meg Vogel is in her fifties and ready for a new start in life. Her husband recently passed away from cancer, and she closed down the freelance copywriting business she’d had to neglect during her business. She’s hired at Sadie’s nursing home to assist the activities director, her special project being the use of her writing and interview skills to compile biographies of the residents.
Elise Chapelle is the daughter of one of the residents, Charles. She had quit her job as a teacher to take care of her father, but now that he is in a nursing home, she wonders what to do with her life. She takes a writing class that involves setting up a web site.
These three women from different generations form a friendship though Elise is a Christian and Meg is an atheist. Meg is particularly antagonistic towards Christians because her husband became one near the end of his life, and she felt his new religion and views took him further away from her. She’s fairly sarcastic in any kind of religious conversation, but she genuinely likes the other ladies.
I enjoyed a view of life from inside a nursing home. My own mother-in-law’s experiences in a nursing home not nearly as nice as this one were mostly negative, but her early assisted living experiences sound like they could have fit in with this book. One common theme in all of these places is the neglect of many of the residents by their too-busy families.
But this is not just a story about a nursing home: it’s a story of faith.
Kitty’s experiences inform the book as she was once an atheist (her story is told in Heaven Without Her) and she spent much time in a nursing home first visiting her mother and then volunteering. Her web site, Everlasting Place, hosts two blogs: Eternal Eyes: A Blog About Forever and Golden Years: A Blog About the Elderly. A neat interview with the author about this book is here.
Special thanks to the author for sending me a copy of her book.