Treha Langsam works at the Desert Gardens retirement home in Tucson, Arizona. The young woman who grew up in foster homes and as an orphan has several mysterious qualities. She suffers from a rare medical condition, nystagmus, which causes her eyes to flutter back and forth. She has a gift of connecting with those at the home who seem to be “lost causes” — whether they have dementia, are non-responsive, or even in a coma. Even though she’s technically on the janitorial staff, she is a valued employee loved by both staff and residents. New director Jillian Millstone, however, does not appreciate Treha’s assets.
Devin Hillis and Jonah Verwer are setting out to make the next big documentary, and they believe Desert Gardens is just the place to do it. They’ve set out to interview the residents about the stories of their lives, but soon learn the real story may fall with Treha.
“Every Waking Moment” is a great novel full of twists and turns as we learn about Treha’s past, and how she became the person she is. It is full of great characters, including Miriam Howard, the retiring director; Elsie, a sweet Christian lady; Dr. Crenshaw, who may have a connection to Treha’s past; and Du’Relle, Treha’s sweet neighbor boy.
Fabry does a great job intertwining the live’s of many of the characters. He also teaches an awesome lesson about how we need to value all people, treating them with dignity, no matter where they are in life. As one character points out, it is important to reveal the “power of stories and the interconnectedness of humanity.”
“Every Waking Moment” is an awesome, powerful, thought-provoking book that is at times sweet, at times funny, at times serious, and at times make you want to stand up and shout with joy and excitement.
Five out of five stars.