by Valerie Howard
As a nurse who has experienced the pain of personal loss, Amanda strives to provide flawless medical care to the neediest of patients. But when her life starts crumbling and she meets her most stubborn patient yet, will sheer determination be enough to see her through? Or should she start wishing for a miracle from a God she doesn’t believe in?
“Valerie has expertly taken the readers into the compassionate heart of caregivers.”
“This is probably the best Christian fiction I’ve ever read. Valerie Howard made it real, poignant, even unsettling, without ever resorting to ugly, foul, or graphic. She managed to deal with all kinds of sticky issues, from abortion and alcoholism to the care of elderly and corrupt religionists.”
“This is a captivating story with an inspirational message. It takes you right into a nurse’s heart and desire to help her patients. Amanda is a relatable, well-crafted character. It takes a loving and caring individual to be a nurse. It’s a wonderful tribute to caregivers everywhere and an excellent journey to finding hope and faith.”
CIR: What inspired this book?
HOWARD: I got to thinking about the elderly and how our society often neglects or outright mistreats them. I wanted to have one of the main characters be a man in his 90’s to try to delve into what it would be like to live alone, paycheck to paycheck, with a deteriorating body while your mind is sharp as a tack. Out of that idea, Hector Demetri was born.
CIR: Did this require any research, and what kind?
HOWARD: The female main character, Amanda Holbrook, is a nurse, and I know nothing of the medical field except for what I gather from my own doctor’s appointments, so I consulted with my nurse sister-in-law and had to do a lot of research on diseases and medicines for this book.
CIR: What do you hope readers take away from this story?
HOWARD: I hope readers understand that the elderly people they know are just like them, only often sick, lonely, and frustrated because they can’t always do the things they’d like to do. I’d like readers to close the book and call a shut-in from their church, or sign up to volunteer at a nursing home. Most importantly, I’d like them to understand that God loves them, and Jesus can save the hardest of hearts.
CIR: Are any of the characters based on people you know?
HOWARD: Amanda is based loosely on my sister-in-law, who is a determined, highly-educated woman in the home nursing industry. She won’t stand by and let anyone suffer from anything, and she’s always thinking up new ways to help people live healthier lives. Hector is based on every older stubborn New Englander that I’ve ever met.