From Library Journal
Andreae's experiences as a freelance writer and mystery author (Smoke Eaters) are evident in this account of her experiences as a hospice volunteer with female patients in the last stages of cancer. Hospice volunteers work through a local agency and provide support for families when their members are dying. Written in a very readable diary format, this book traces the author's experience from rank newcomer to seasoned volunteer. She reveals how the experiences helped her to grow and how she was able to assist the families to whom she was assigned. The first chapter, "Bivie," was privately published as One Woman's Death: A Hospice Volunteer's First Case. This book is valuable for helping us understand the work hospice volunteers do and some of the problems and issues they face. A useful addition to consume-health collections.DMary J. Jarvis, Amarillo, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
For those still confused by the hospice concept, Andreae, who has volunterred for a decade at Blue Ridge Hospice in rural Virginia, imparts some idea of what hospice programs are and are like. Most of Andreae's 15 patients, however, spent their final days and died at home, and as a detailed account of dying in a hospice, Tim Brookes' Signs of Life
(1997) is more helpful. Still, Andreae writes movingly and perceptively of her patients and herself, and even tells stories on herself. Hospice care changes everyone involved, she shows, not least because dying is a process, not an event, and its needs are as likely to appear late at night as at more convenient hours. She volunteers because she loves the work despite hospice patients, their spouses, and their families being no more lovable or saintly than anyone else. She is realistic and knows that pain cannot always be controlled and that rejections by patients occur. Ultimately, she demonstrates well the values of a successful hospice program. William BeattyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved