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Take Daily As needed is by Kathryn TrueBlood and is a story about family and chronic illness. Maeve has Crohn’s disease and her children have medical complications as well, including her daughter’s nut allergy. I cannot relate to that since I do not have it or to being a parent, as I am not one. But this sense of failure she feels is intimately familiar to me. How you try and try and it never quite works out. And a lot of endurance and perseverance in there. I particularly like the end. I think there is something powerful about how she responds to her relationship and illness that we can all relate to. And, you know, her first relationship as well, is familiar territory for many of us. The roles we all have while dealing with illness really (Parent, spouse, worker, daughter…). That is something we all know deeply. And the author portrays that well in her story.
In many ways, if you have a chronic illness you can see parts of yourself reflected in these glimpses of life. I like that. That there is truth in there. Not the pretty lies people want to hear and a tad of humour to make it go down well.
“Maeve Beaufort’s family is messy and complicated, rife with competing demands, difficult compromises, and on-the-spot judgment calls. She is the single mother of Noelle, who has anaphylactic reactions to nuts, and Norm, a nonconformist child whom everyone wants to diagnose. Her father is spending his retirement on high-ticket items he doesn’t need, her children’s teachers are suggesting medication, and her mood-swinging mother is threatening to move in. Newly diagnosed herself with Crohn’s disease, Maeve feels as though she is failing herself, her parents, and her children. But with spirit and determination—and a healthy dose of survival humor—she gives it her best go. Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed, underappreciated, underpaid, and underwater will find a kindred spirit in Maeve.”
“Trueblood engagingly describes many aspects of family life in a manner that is authentic, honest, and often uncomfortable. The characters and relationships are multifaceted, and the reader is allowed to witness to the love, anger, frustration, change, and resilience in a way that rings true to life.”
—Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature