Montpelier Tomorrow

Fiction - Drama
356 Pages
Reviewed on 11/03/2014
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Author Biography

Marylee MacDonald is a former carpenter with an M.A. in Creative Writing. Her novel, MONTPELIER TOMORROW was published by ATTM Press in 2014. THE RUG BAZAAR, winner of the Jeanne M. Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, will be published in 2015. Also in 2015, she will have a short story collection, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD, published by Summertime Publications. MacDonald's stories have won Illinois Arts Council Awards as well as the Barry Hannah Prize, the Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the ALR Fiction Prize. Her stories have appeared in American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, Folio, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, Raven Chronicles, Reunion, River Oak Review, Ruminate, StoryQuarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, The Broad River Review, The Yalobusha Review, and others.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite

Montpelier Tomorrow by Marylee MacDonald is a well-written and comprehensive account of the family struggles that ensue when one member is diagnosed with ALS. You will meet Sandy and Tony, a young couple and parents to little Josh and baby Ben. Their world is shattered when Tony is diagnosed with ALS. How to cope is the number one question. Sandy’s mother, Colleen, bravely steps in to help however she can. She does not realize the toll it will take on her as the disease not only ravages Tony, but threatens the well-being and the sanity of everyone around him too; hers included. However, she resists the temptation to give up. She is there for the long haul, no matter what. Her love for Sandy and for Tony – a beloved son-in-law - will not allow her to wallow in self-pity.

With the aid of friends, support workers and extended family, they are occasionally relieved of the all-consuming exhaustion that the demands Tony's deterioration brings, as well as the growing tension of worry and stress. One close friend even gives up his home to give them a much-needed break from their distressing everyday burdens. The story continues with clarity and understanding until a completely unexpected event throws all of their beleaguered routine into disarray.

How they face this and how Tony’s condition is eased with drugs and therapy makes for thought-provoking reading. It took me along a road I hope I never have to travel. Not necessarily an easy read, but one that will cause you to thank your lucky stars it is not your life. The author must have done a great deal of research into this topic in order to write such an informative book. A good read - even if I did feel exhausted as I reached the last page. Well done.