Someone recommended that I read "The Map of True Place" written by Brunonia Barry. To me, this was a "dark" novel. Set in Salem, Massachusettes. Zee, a therapist, travels to her father's home to find that his Parkinson's Disease has progressed to the point that she must take leave from her job and move in with him to help care for him. This also means leaving behind a fiance' and wedding planner and comes on the heels of a patient she's gotten too involved with committing suicide.
While living with her father, a former professor, she recalls the memories of her mother, who also committed suicide when she was younger and has haunted her for years. This stems from feeling of not being capable of saving her. Her mother's death along with the death of her patient and the added responsibilities of caring for her father, make her ponder her profession and in the process her personal life suffers.
As Zee, named after Hepzibah from "The House of Seven Gables"(there are many references to this book throughout the novel), attempts to come to terms with where her life is heading, many secrets begin to unfold about her mother, father and other people in her life. Those secrets and wanting to find out what they were is what kept me reading this book. If you choose to read it, be aware that the first 100 pages are very somber.
For me, this book was particularly difficult to read because it deals with the subject of an aging parent and a child taking on the role as caretaker. This hit close to home for me since I am in that season of life. Although very well written, and I will admit when things began to unfold I became more interested in the storyline, this is not a book I would have normally picked up off of the shelf eager to read. However, if college taught me one thing, it was to finish what I started and so finish this book I did.
Did I like this book and would I recommend it? It was not my favorite but I think that perhaps is just my personal preferences speaking; I like books that are well written but also help me escape reality. However, often times this type of book is what best sellers are made of and it did in fact make some best seller lists. I suppose the message of this book is that finding your true place in the world may take you on many long and winding paths along that journey. Some roads filled with happiness and others with sadness. Life is a mixture of emotions and experiences and that is the truth about this journey called life.