Note – I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. No affiliate links were used in this post.
About Montpelier Tomorrow
Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press; First edition (August 21, 2014)
Mid-life mom, Colleen Gallagher, would do anything to protect her children from harm. When her daughter’s husband falls ill with ALS, Colleen rolls up her sleeves and moves in, juggling the multiple roles of grandma, cook, and caregiver, only to discover that even her superhuman efforts can’t fix what’s wrong.
“Each time I have reread this novel, I have felt rewarded by the connection it offers to the central character, Colleen. I can think of no single page in which her voice is not an irreplaceable gift to the reader.” – Kevin McIlvoy, author of The Fifth Station
“An affecting, deeply honest novel; at the same time, a lacerating indictment of our modern healthcare system” – Kirkus Reviews
“Öif you like well written books, wonderfully developed characters, and a story with a greater purpose you should read Montpelier Tomorrow by Marylee MacDonald. I cannot stress enough†how good this book is.” – Ben Green for Reader Views
“A heartrending story of love, loss and the endurance of the human spirit” – Literary Fiction Book†Review
“Montpelier Tomorrow portrays real issues of life; it exposes the multi-layers of human conflict and the heroism of motherhood.” – Cheryl E. Rodriguez for ReadersFavorite
“An amazing story of a family going through difficult times and each one trying to keep things going under those difficult circumstances.” – Mamta Madhavan for ReadersFavorite
I was a little nervous to pick read this because of the subject matter; I knew it wouldn’t be the happiest of books! I have mixed feelings about this novel, so I’ll start with what didn’t work for me and then move onto what I liked about the novel.
This was a slow starter for me. I had trouble with the beginning and the reaction of family when they found out that Tony had ALS. I found their reactions to be a bit unbelievable and abrupt. Their reactions really didn’t say much about the character of each member of the family and I didn’t really like any of the characters or connect to them from the start. I expected this to change as the novel went on, but for the most part it didn’t. Sandy, the daughter, in particular became more rude and unlikable as the novel went on.
Even though I had trouble connecting with the characters, I did grow to care for some of them–in particular I really grew to care about Colleen. This book provides a difficult glimpse at a such a terrible illness and how it affects everyone in the family, particularly the one(s) who take care of the patient. Some of the descriptions really hit hard and, in a book like this, they should. I thought about this novel a lot when I wasn’t reading it and I’m sure it’ll stay with me for awhile.
About Marylee MacDonald
A former carpenter and mother of five, Marylee MacDonald began writing when her last child left for college. Her fiction has won the Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Award, the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the ALR Fiction Award. Her novel, Montpelier Tomorrow, was a Finalist in the 2014 IPPY Awards and the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize. She is widely published in literary magazines such as American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Folio, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, Broad River Review, Four Quarters, New Delta Review, North Atlantic Review, Raven Chronicles, Reunion: The Dallas Review, River Oak Review, Ruminate, StoryQuarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, and Yalobusha Review.