Title: The Fountain of Youth
Author: Steve Shear
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction
“Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.
In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.
Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?
Robert Glickman is tired of seeing his friends and family struck down by dementia, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He refuses to go quietly and armed with his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, he goes on the offensive. Being a resident of the Fountain is a roller coaster ride full of adventures and mishaps. There’s Essie, Glickman’s sister, who reminds me a bit of my Great Aunt Ella. There’s the beautiful psychotherapist who’s captured Glickman’s heart yet refuses his advances. Then there’s Santini, Boyle’s grandson, who’s in deep trouble due to drugs. At the enter of it all is an intelligent retired doctor (Glickman) who’s fighting for his sanity and memories.
This was such a moving, emotional read for me. Shear portrays accurately the plight of the elderly and those suffering from dementia. I’ve seen first-hand how a person can just slip away, not remembering memories or who someone is. It’s a scary place and like Glickman, I refuse to let this hereditary disease take me down. Shear, instead of painting a depressing story of doom, he splashes humor throughout, especially in the dialogue. The message here is clear: life is what you make it and a patient dealing with the onslaught of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s has the right to end his/her own life. I don’t personally agree with assisted death by medical doctors but I understand and respect those who wish to die with dignity.
A must-read novel that makes you think and stays with you long after you finish reading it.
Favorite Character/Quote: “There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.”
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy it now:
The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.
Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.
My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).
In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.
I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.
Social Media Links:
Reviewed by: Mrs. N