Title: FRED’S FUNERAL
Author: SANDY DAY
Length: 114 PAGES
Type of Book: SOFTCOVER
Received From: THE AUTHOR
Release Date: DECEMBER 2, 2017
Price: $22 CDN for an autographed book through the author’s website.
Price: Ebook $2.99 CDN
Price: Softcover for $14.95
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
(From the Back Cover)
Fred Sadler has just died of old age. It’s 1986, seventy years after he marched off to WWI, and his ghost hovers near the ceiling of the nursing home. To Fred’s dismay, the arrangement of his funeral falls to his prudish sister-in-law, Viola. As she dominates the remembrance of Fred, he agonizes over his inability to set the record straight.
Was old Uncle Fred really suffering from shell shock? Why was he locked up most of his life in the Whitby Hospital for the Insane? Could his family not have done more for him?
Fred’s memories of his life as a child, his family’s hotel, the War, and the mental hospital, clash with Viola’s version of events as the family gathers on a rainy October night to pay their respects.
FRED’S FUNERAL is based on a true story. The details came from the letters, journals and recollections of the author’s Uncle Fred who, like the title character, fought in World War One and returned as a changed man.
This story begins upon Fred’s death in a Nursing Home. Fred finds himself floating above what was bed for years. He watches as his brother’s widow paws through his most cherished mementos. Fred is not happy about this since he never could stand Viola, and he never understood what his brother saw in the shrewish woman.
Fred finds that he is stuck between death and heaven and is somehow tied to his estranged family. He floats, invisible, to his own funeral and the reception afterward.
The rest of Fred’s relatives are eager to learn more about this Uncle they never knew and it is Viola who begins to tell the tale of Fred’s life.
Fred’s time as a soldier in World War One had a profound affect on him and after being home from the war for several years and not meeting his father’s expectations, Fred’s family has him involuntarily admitted to the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, also known as Ontario’s Hospital for the Insane.
The above pictures are from the website Invisible Threads
This hospital actually existed. It was constructed between 1913 and 1916 to serve as a military convalescent hospital for soldiers wounded in the First World War. The hospital was considered a model of mental health care for its era. However, patients like Fred were forced to undergo treatments that we know now as cruel and barbaric such as shock treatment.
The more readers learn about Fred and his life, the more they will be forced to think about how veterans have been treated in the past, and how they are treated today. It will also bring awareness to mental health issues which is much needed.
Did Fred actually have “Shell Shock?” (What was once called Shell Shock is now know as PTSD – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.) We, as a society, are only just now beginning to recognize and treat PTSD sufferers with the dignity they deserve. But, we still have a long way to go to completely remove the stigma that is wrongfully attached to mental health issues. To learn more about PTSD, visit CMHA – The Canadian Mental Health Association.
The story jumps around in time, which I normally am averse to, but in this case it actually works.
FRED’S FUNERAL contains a mere 114 pages which makes it an ideal weekend read. I was so absorbed in the story that I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.
I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good family drama with a dose of history thrown in. In fact, this little book really packs a punch when you consider just how many topics and timelines are contained within.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandy Day is a recovering chatterbox living in Georgina, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from York University, with a degree in English Literature sometime in the last century. Sandy then took 20 years off from writing to run a gift store and raise a family. Now relationship-free and un-self-employed she finally has time to write and publish.
Sandy is a trained volunteer facilitator for the Toronto Writers Collective’s creative writing workshops. She is a developmental editor and writing teacher who sells dog halters on the side. Tech savvy, a born marketer, entrepreneurial, and a big picture thinker, Sandy is a dedicated indie author, publisher, and book coach.
If you enjoy Sandy’s writing please sign up on the email list – she promises to write. Contact her via her website.
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