Tuesday, December 9, 2014

We Are Welcome Here: A Book Review

My father is disabled and I am the oldest of five children. I had a lot of responsibility as a child, caring for my father and my siblings. This definitely attributed to my love of the plot of We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg. This is a touching, light story about a deep, emotional subject.

Diana is the daughter of a stubborn, strong, intelligent woman who contracted polio just after Diana's birth and spends the remainder of her life paralyzed from the neck down. The book begins when Diana is thirteen years old, struggling with a lifetime of taking care of her mother, straining against the bonds of childhood while being forced into some adult circumstances. She has resentment, of course, toward her mother, toward her absent father and toward her best friend.

The first half of this book isn't a real page-turner. In fact, I began it months ago and lost it while moving last month. But the second half of it moved quickly, with parallel elements of racism and discrimination toward the disabled. It was fascinating, engaging and I couldn't put it down. I'm pretty sure I snapped, "I have ten more pages, be quiet!" at  my wife at one point.

That last chapter... well, that's spoilers. Just know it's wonderful.

I'm not going to say much more about this book because I have three books waiting to be edited, so here are a few reads you'll like if you like this one:

Gap Creek
Olive Kitteridge

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