What does it look like when people go into a nursing home to live, rather than die? When my Grandmother gave up her independent life in Brooklyn to put herself into a nursing home in suburban Connecticut, neither of us knew I would join her there. Ain’t She Sweet: A Coming of (Old) Age Tale details the arc of two women coming of age congruently — one a blind woman navigating her last years of life and the other a spirited teen in need of an ally. This grand story entertains, highlighting comical generational clashes, as much as it informs - the reality of life in a nursing home from the perspectives of a resident, a family member, and the facility staff.
Ain’t She Sweet will replace everything people have ever thought about old age and nursing homes with a refreshingly positive and real perspective. Anyone with a family, or a longing for one, will be inspired by this story of learning how to live exactly the life you want. The book is enhanced by thirty interviews of staff who washed Grandma‘s hair, snuck her extra Black Forrest cake, and discovered her hidden talent as a prolific painter.
The story told in chapters, which represent departments in a nursing home, starts and ends with admissions. Through learning more of her story from those I interviewed, I concurrently discovered more about myself and realized we both sought, above all, stability. This story helps readers gain crucial insights about achieving their own stability. Grandma’s prophecy that I was not meant to live an average life defined my future.
Ain’t She Sweet is a riveting and relatable tale about what defines family, home, and resiliency. At its core, it is a love story between a grandmother and granddaughter learning — relearning — what unconditional love means in practice.
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