Monday, November 10, 2014

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

Every Waking MomentChris Fabry is known for his unique fiction focusing on broken people with complex life stories.
EVERY WAKING MOMENT which recently received the 2014 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for fiction and was a Christy finalist is a perfect example of the complexity of Fabry's writing.  Miriam Howard has poured her life into the retirement home/nursing facility where she has been chief administrator for over twenty years; now, as she faces a forced retirement she wonders how the elderly she has cared for will manage without her.  Clearly the new administrator does not plan to oversee with the same gentleness that Miriam did.  When Treha Langsam, a janitorial assistant is let go for talking with a resident, Miriam knows she must help the young woman.  Miriam sees beyond young Treha's disheveled dress, wandering eyes, and apparent emotional disabilities to see an almost magical ability to connect with those who no longer speak.  It is almost as if Treha is a kind of elder whisperer.  Treha reveals that she is in possession of a letter written by a resident, a former doctor. who has suffered a stroke, and Treha believes the letter has some connection to her past, a past which she cannot remember.  Miriam, Treha, and a pair of wanna be documentary producers follow a faint but mysterious trail to learn more about Treha's past and more importantly to discover why she is the way she is.

Partly a medical mystery, partly a story of guilt and remorse, partly a stand against big business and partly a story of new beginnings, EVERY WAKING MOMENT is not easy to describe.  Fabry needs a large cast to tell this story and each person adds another dimension to the big question of the book, "What if this is as good as life gets?"  I especially liked how Fabry makes the relationship between Miriam and her husband an integral part of the big question even though her husband is a minor character.   I obtained my copy of EVERY WAKING MOMENT through our Winnefox Library System.  

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