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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.