UNFORGETTABLE PROTAGONIST: Francesca’s journey from fierce independence to vulnerability, and the opening of her heart, packs an emotional punch.
MYSTERY ELEMENT: The unknown whereabouts of Angelica pulls the reader into the story.
AUTHENTIC MEDICAL SETTING: The author is an experienced health care aide and she portrays the heroic efforts (and failings) of nurses and care aides, and the experience of being a palliative care patient, with incredible empathy, humour and attention to detail.
IDEAL FOR BOOK CLUBS: The theme that it’s never too late to change, that growth is possible even when the body is in decline, provides great fodder for discussion.
ORIGINAL TRADE PAPERBACK
“[An] affecting debut . . . Owens’s believable, touching portrait of Frannie and the loving care of her aides is loaded with moments of beauty amid the swirl of regret and nostalgia. . . . These powerful final reflections of an irascible, regretful patient illustrate the unremarkable yet profound experience of nearing death.” —Publishers Weekly
“Owens, a care aide for more than 20 years, captures the skill and tenderness of caring for someone at the end of life in direct and unvarnished prose. . . . Each [care aide] . . . is richly drawn and complex . . . [and the novel] serves to illuminate a vital profession that has been rarely documented in fiction.” —Vancouver Sun
"Like pulling rabbits from a hat, Jo Owens manages the magic of reaching into the most abject places of the human heart—and other parts of the anatomy—and finding joy, humour and redemption. She gifts the reader a story told with elegant wit and irreverent humour, and characters brought to life with love, often of the tough variety . . . and there is nothing more tender. I love this book." —Ann-Marie MacDonald
“Jo Owens’ achievement is astonishing. She has created a heroine whose zest for life is as unstoppable as her curiosity about the caregivers and patients in her long-term facility, and whose capacity for change is sometimes painful and frequently funny. What a delight to be privy to Francesca’s blunt, ribald, exasperated and tender reactions to a life she never planned.” —Katherine Ashenburg, author of Sofie & Cecilia and Her Turn
“A Funny Kind of Paradise is a gorgeous and original novel that explores a reality too often looked away from. A deeply compassionate examination of human life and its immeasurable value.” —Kevin Patterson, author of News From the Red Desert
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