Official Review: Requiem for the status quo

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fiction books or series that do not fit into one of the other categories. If the fiction book fits into one the other categories, please use that category instead.
Forum rules
While in the forum's younger and less active days this used to be the one and only forum for "reviews and discussions about specific books", this is now just the subforum "other fiction" in a more well-organized "reviews and discussions about specific books" section with subforums for each genre. Check it out! :) Remember, the forums in the reviews section (including this forum) are for posting about a single book or series in topic, and the topic title should include the book's title. If you are creating a new topic, please try to post it in one of the other genres rather than posting it here in the "other fiction" section. This is only for books that do not fit in any of the other genre categories we have listed.
User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Official Review: Requiem for the status quo

Post by Dael Reader » 30 Jul 2018, 09:01

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Requiem for the status quo" by Irene Frances Olson.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Anyone who cares for someone with a terminal illness knows how hard it can be to hope for the best each day even though the worst is never far away. Requiem for the Status Quo by Irene Frances Olson is the story of Colleen Strand, a middle-aged widow with a neat, predictable life. She works in a bridal shop and spends time each week with her widowed father, Patrick Quinn. When Patrick starts to forget things and repeats stories he’s told before, Colleen wants to assume that these “senior moments” are typical signs of aging. Then the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease broadsides them both. With her sister, Patty, living in a different state and her brother, Jonathan, wallowing in denial, Colleen takes on the role of sole caregiver. But she quickly learns that caring for a man losing his mind requires a new definition of normal with each passing day.

This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming—and that’s exactly how a story like this has to be told. I think the author does a good job showing us the many sides of Colleen. The emotional journey she takes as her father’s caregiver has an undoubtable ring of truth to it. There are times when she is frustrated and scared, but there are also moments when she feels closer to him emotionally than she ever has before. My heart went out to her even when I thought she was being just a bit of an overbearing martyr.

On the other hand, I wasn’t impressed with the level of development for the other main characters—Patrick and Jonathan. I think the problem lies in the point of view. Most of this story is told in a first-person narrative from Colleen’s perspective. This is why we have such a well-rounded view of her character. But most of what we know of the other characters comes through her biased lens. There are a few third-person passages that give us glimpses into the minds of Patrick and Jonathan, but not nearly enough to fully develop their characters. Since the tension between Colleen and Jonathan is a significant part of the story, I wanted more information about Jonathan’s mind frame to truly understand his motives. As written, his transformation from denial to acceptance seems to happen overnight. In real life, it’s never that quick or simple. We also miss out on getting to know Patrick on a personal level. I wish Olson had added a few more sections to explore his character.

Olson had a great idea when she sent Colleen to a support group for caregivers. This group involves people caring for different relatives—a sister, a son, a father, and a spouse. The diagnoses the care receivers face range from dementia to traumatic brain injury with post-traumatic stress. These characters help expand the range of the book. It stops being just a story about Colleen, Patrick, and Alzheimer’s disease and begins to reflect the stories of many different people facing similar challenges. By adding these characters, Olson helps us see that the story of each caregiver and care receiver is unique, but that doesn’t mean they have to struggle alone. Everyone has a different path to follow, but there are always people who can understand and share the emotional and psychological aspects of the journey.

One aspect of the book that I struggled with was the shifting tones of the dialogue and narrative. Most of the dialogue had a natural tone that seemed appropriate for the characters and the situation. But other conversations seemed a little too formal. Likewise, the tone of Colleen’s narrative shifted from time to time. Some sections had the causal tone of a friend telling you the story of what’s happening in her life. Other sections shift to the more formal tone of someone writing about an incident for a clinical journal. I preferred the casual, informal narrative style. The more formal sections made me feel as if it was no longer Colleen speaking, but a moderator taking the stage to make sure we weren’t getting off track and missing the key points.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It’s a good, thought-provoking story with many different facets. However, I saw too many mechanical and style errors to give it a 4-star rating. I also thought the issues with characterization and the shifting tones of the narrative were enough to bring the score down a touch. These issues don’t seriously detract from the story, but they make the text feel much less polished than it could be.

If you don’t already know someone who has had the experience of caring for a loved one with a terminal illness, it’s very likely that you will one day. For that reason, I would recommend this book for anyone ready to explore the many different sides of a complex medical issue that touches so many lives.

******
Requiem for the status quo
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Dael Reader's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Rosemary Khathibe
Posts: 444
Joined: 05 Jul 2017, 16:48
2018 Reading Goal: 55
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 43
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rosemary-khathibe.html
Latest Review: Peru Travels by Darren Stevens

Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 31 Jul 2018, 08:54

The story sounds interesting. I will read this book to find out if Patrick got a cure from his traumatising illness. Thanks for the intriguing review.

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 31 Jul 2018, 17:59

Rosemary Khathibe wrote: ↑
31 Jul 2018, 08:54
The story sounds interesting. I will read this book to find out if Patrick got a cure from his traumatising illness. Thanks for the intriguing review.
Dael Reader wrote:I won't give away the ending. But I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for your comment.

User avatar
Ever_Reading
Posts: 251
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:01
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 42
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 72
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ever-reading.html
Latest Review: Smith by Sam B Miller II
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Ever_Reading » 01 Aug 2018, 02:12

This one hit a little too close to home. Even though I have not lived with a loved one that has a terminal illness, I've lived with one who has a chronic illness. The struggles are quite similar so I think I will be able to relate to the characters in the book. Thank you for writing an honest and beautiful review.

User avatar
AmySmiles
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1255
Joined: 21 Mar 2018, 10:43
Favorite Author: Dana Peters
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 147
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amysmiles.html
Latest Review: Letters From The War by Amanda Bryant
fav_author_id: 154082

Post by AmySmiles » 01 Aug 2018, 07:38

Anyone who cares for someone with a terminal illness knows how hard it can be to hope for the best each day even though the worst is never far away.
There is so much truth in this sentence I can't even comprehend it all myself even though I'm walking along someone currently dealing with this. I want to read this book and I don't at the same time. I'm not sure I could get through it right now, but at the same time I feel it would be encouraging as well. Thank you for the review.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
–Author Unknown

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 02 Aug 2018, 16:19

Ever_Reading wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2018, 02:12
This one hit a little too close to home. Even though I have not lived with a loved one that has a terminal illness, I've lived with one who has a chronic illness. The struggles are quite similar so I think I will be able to relate to the characters in the book. Thank you for writing an honest and beautiful review.
Dael Reader wrote:I've had both family and friends who have experienced the struggles of chronic illness and/or Alzheimer's. So this stuck home for me too on several levels. I think this was a pretty honest portrayal of some of the challenges. I hope you like it if you get a chance to read it. And thanks for leaving a comment.{/quote]

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 02 Aug 2018, 16:22

AmySmiles wrote: ↑
01 Aug 2018, 07:38
Anyone who cares for someone with a terminal illness knows how hard it can be to hope for the best each day even though the worst is never far away.
There is so much truth in this sentence I can't even comprehend it all myself even though I'm walking along someone currently dealing with this. I want to read this book and I don't at the same time. I'm not sure I could get through it right now, but at the same time I feel it would be encouraging as well. Thank you for the review.
Dael Reader wrote:I understand completely. It can be hard to read books on topics that hit so close to the home of our heart! I wish you well in your current journey!

User avatar
Nany99
Posts: 4
Joined: 02 Jun 2018, 20:39
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Nany99 » 03 Aug 2018, 10:18

Sounds intriguing , having been in a similar position , may have to check it out !

jcoad
Posts: 513
Joined: 28 Jun 2018, 12:28
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jcoad.html
Latest Review: The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov

Post by jcoad » 03 Aug 2018, 13:19

Wow, this book sounds really deep on so many levels. I can't tell if I want to read it or run from it. It is a very important topic, not sure I can deal with it in a book. Also, great review. I really appreciate the details and background.

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 03 Aug 2018, 13:58

Nany99 wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 10:18
Sounds intriguing , having been in a similar position , may have to check it out !
{quote]Thanks so much for the comment![/quote]

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 03 Aug 2018, 13:59

Dael Reader wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 13:58
Nany99 wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 10:18
Sounds intriguing , having been in a similar position , may have to check it out !
{quote]Thanks so much for the comment!

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 03 Aug 2018, 14:02

jcoad wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 13:19
Wow, this book sounds really deep on so many levels. I can't tell if I want to read it or run from it. It is a very important topic, not sure I can deal with it in a book. Also, great review. I really appreciate the details and background.
It is one that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read--otherwise you might end up way too depressed. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 1219
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 93
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 292
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: Secrets of Time by Michael Bennett Wilson

Post by teacherjh » 03 Aug 2018, 15:02

This sounds like a pretty intense book. It’s probably too close to home for me. Great review.

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 679
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me)
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Blues for the Father by Marcel Wilson, Joseph Harrison and Barry Kohl
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 03 Aug 2018, 15:12

teacherjh wrote: ↑
03 Aug 2018, 15:02
This sounds like a pretty intense book. It’s probably too close to home for me. Great review.
There were parts that touch a little close for me too. I definitely need to read a more cheerful book next to cleanse the palette. Thanks for stopping by!

User avatar
Yssimnar
Posts: 131
Joined: 05 Jul 2018, 03:04
Favorite Book: Wives and Daughters
Currently Reading: No Man Knows My History
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-yssimnar.html
Latest Review: Seer by Larry Austin

Post by Yssimnar » 04 Aug 2018, 18:41

Dael Reader wrote: ↑
30 Jul 2018, 09:01
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Requiem for the status quo" by Irene Frances Olson.]
As written, his transformation from denial to acceptance seems to happen overnight. In real life, it’s never that quick or simple. We also miss out on getting to know Patrick on a personal level. I wish Olson had added a few more sections to explore his character.
I know a woman who has seen Alzheimers happen to her friends and is paranoid she will get it since she is aging now. It would be devastating. I like your analysis that acceptance doesn't come overnight. That is so true and even after moments of acceptance, we can revert back to the stages of grief. Well-said!
:wink:
Latest Review: Seer by Larry Austin

Post Reply

Return to “Other Fiction Forum”