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Friday, 14 November 2014

Just Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner

Just Like Other DaughtersJust Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have just finished reading this wonderful gripping story from Colleen Faulkner.

I'm a bit of a sucker for a woman's story full of choices, anguish and dilemma's not mentioning moral issues, family issues and what 'society' might say.

I'm also a sucker for knowing that, through stories such as this one, many reviewers/readers will have an opinion about. But I always say, unless you are in that particular situation, how do you know what you would do? How would you know what are the best choices when emotions and love get in the way of reasoning?

Here we have a Mom who has a child she has cared for since birth who is now in her 20's and has Down's Syndrome. Mom works, daughter goes to a care center with other adults who need special supervision for limited mental capacity. Father way out of the picture and just a blur around the ages at times when she needs to gee him up to his duties. They went their separate ways long ago.

Just think, as a Mom, all you ever want for your child is to make them happy, for them to find happiness. No different for this Mom.

But Chloe gets attached to Thomas who she meets in the day center. The relationship becomes such that Chloe is telling her Mom that they are going to get married. Of course, she doesn't pay serious attention to this at the start.

We soon have a dilemma, they obviously love each other, but Thomas doesn't have Down's syndrome, but he is mentally challenged in other ways, a full grown man but a child.
Should they be allowed to marry?
What about any future children?

Chloe has lived with her Mother her entire life, I can see the close relationship they have.

Some say Chloe's Mother doesn't allow for Chloe to become more Independent, I read through this book and say, she does all she can to teach her child.

We have a grown woman here with sexual desires of her own, and we have the Mother of Thomas who see's things differently than Chloe's Mom.

There is a whole family unit, friends, and social/doctors/professionals mixed up in this equation.

I think the author has done a fantastic job to keep this book real. To give me an insight to how caring for a child/grown child, with Down's Syndrome would find like choices so difficult.

I am a carer, and its hard to stand back and allow the person you know with mental deficiencies make choices that you know may just not work for them. But the law says, the choices are there's.

I felt for Chloe's Mom on all levels. I felt for Chloe too when the paragraphs belonged to her to write what she was feeling. Very cleverly done by the author. You got an insight to how Chloe's mind thought.

I'm glad that Chloe's Mom has her friend Jin to chat to. Its great to have a friend that you can use as a sounding board even when they don't agree with you or see things in a different way.

I wasn't expecting the ending and I blubbered like a baby. The turn it took was unexpected and shocked me.

But the outlook was good in the end.

I can't wait to read more of this authors books. Her story was so breathtaking realistic, so insightful, I felt I was right there. I must admit in some respects I was, don't allow that to happen....or come on, stand up to Margarete. I felt her a bit too pushy for my liking.

BUT then again, no one knows how they would react in a situation unless they have been in it themselves.

Thank you Colleen Faulkner for allowing me to read your wonderful book, and I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

Alicia Richards loved her daughter from her very first breath. Days later, when tests confirmed what Alicia already knew--that Chloe had Down syndrome--she didn't falter. Her ex-husband wanted a child who would grow to be a scholar. For Alicia, it's enough that Chloe just is.

Now twenty-five, Chloe is sweet, funny, and content. Alicia brings her to adult daycare while she teaches at a local college. One day Chloe arrives home thrumming with excitement, and says the words Alicia never anticipated. She has met someone--a young man named Thomas. Within days, Chloe and Thomas, also mentally challenged, declare themselves in love.

Alicia strives to see past her misgivings to the new possibilities opening up for her daughter. Shouldn't Chloe have the same right to love as anyone else? But there is no way to prepare for the relationship unfolding, or for the moments of heartbreak and joy ahead.

With grace and warmth, Colleen Faulkner tells an unflinching yet heartrending story of mothers and daughters, and of the risks we all take, both in loving and in letting go.

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