Hugh is a guy who is having a hard time – a heart attack ten years ago, followed by another, then a stroke six months back, then two more. He’s in the hospital recovering, and his three daughters are all thinking that it might be time for their parents to give up the house and move into some sort of assisted living. But Hugh is not about to go along with the plan quietly, and inadvertently blurts out a secret he’s kept for over fifty years.
The author lets us see into the mind of every character in the story. Each chapter is seen through the eyes of a different character – ornery Hugh, his devoted wife Vonnie, or one of the kids. The personalities of the family members are so varied that they are constantly clashing. The conversations are often hilarious, and everyone can find some member of the family that they identify with. In the end, their love for each other brings them back together.
Excerpt from pages 12-13:
Now, every time I visit, I make him tell me who I am, which bugs him no end. I also test him with other questions, like what day it is, or what year it is. Last night he retaliated by pelting me with questions the minute I walked into the room. He really loved it. You could see him perk up the minute he saw me. “Who’s the president?” he yelled so loud they could hear him all the way down the hall. “What month is it? What planet are we on? What’s the square root of seven hundred? When was the last time you had a bowel movement?”…
When Dad and I played our little question game, Mom waved her arms back and forth to try to quiet us, but we ignored her. Then my sister Pam stepped in to take Mom’s side. Pam doesn’t usually like to mess with me directly, so she turned to Dad instead and said, “Settle down, Dad. The doctor said you’re not supposed to get all riled.”
“He’s not allowed to talk?” I asked.
“Bellowing down the hall is not talking,” Pam snipped.
Mom said, “Don’t you know there’s sick people in this hospital? You don’t have to create a ruckus.”