The Accidental Caregiver

Gregor Collins. Bloch-Bauer Books, $9.99 (378p) ASIN B0092GS96K
The Accidental Caregiver
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Collins, a struggling actor in Los Angeles, interviewed for a caretaker role and was immediately taken by Maria, the woman he would be caring for. As he recounts in this sweet memoir, Maria was a Holocaust survivor, descended from a wealthy Austrian family, who successfully sued the Austrian government for the return of her Klimt paintings. The sale of those paintings made her family extremely wealthy. Collins and Maria form a strong, near-instant bond, transcending their age difference. Collins learns how to love from his connection to Maria, and Maria’s last years are made far more wonderful by Collins’s presence. After she passes, he tours Europe reflecting on the places she told him to see and the experiences she hoped he would have. Collins’s affection for Maria comes out on every page—variously reverent, poignant, awestruck, and romantic. Readers may sometimes find the age difference peculiar or discomfiting, but Collins precludes that, in part with his admitted emotionally stunted nature with women. The book does suffer from repetitiveness. Readers who want to get a larger idea of Maria’s life story, in a more organized chronological manner, will not find it here, forced instead to eke out the whole story from bits scattered all over Collins’s tale. But what they will definitely seeand feel at a visceral level—is a celebration of a life and a recognition that it is coming to a close. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/09/2015
The Accidental Caregiver
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