“If I Walked in her Shoes” is a fictional account of the struggles, small victories, and the underlying love that reinforce relationships. Susan Salach has carefully created a composite of characters made up of real people from her personal and professional experiences. These characters are easy to identify with, and exemplify the dynamics of the issues considered and the experiences described within the story.
The novel introduces Sara, a successful corporate executive, happily married, mother of two, who suddenly becomes caregiver for her elderly mother, Rose. Recently widowed, and independent Rose lived in the family home of over 50 years until a serious fall resulted in hip surgery, slow recovery and declining health and progressive dependence on Sara.
Rose and Sara are typical of the elderly parent needing care and the dutiful daughter trying to meet the multiple demands of caregiving, a growing family, and a flourishing career. Feelings of guilt, self-reproach, lack of sleep, and trying to accomplish all types of minutia overwhelm Sara has she feels her world crumbling around her.
Excruciating pain, loss of independence, and no social outlet have turned Rose from an effervescent self-sufficient person to a depressed, bitter, demanding recluse.
“If I Walked in her Shoes” invites the reader to view one day from the two perspectives, Rose, demanding and lonely, and Sara, overwhelmed and defensive. The question considered from the two viewpoints asks, “What is it like to be in the others shoes?”
Susan Salach dramatically helps her characters come to grips with the importance of the foundation of family love as the basis for an ongoing bonding relationship in times of crisis and changing roles.
Susan Salach’s writing is strong, her characters real, and her plot is believable. Introspective, informative, inspirational, and heart searching describe this beautiful tribute to caregivers everywhere.
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