"The writing is exquisite"
“Artichokes & Grace is a different kind of book about aging and caregiving. It’s more than a “how to” book. The author integrates elements of interviews, knowledge and reality with a sacred philosophy of hope. The writing seamlessly takes the reader through joy and grief, pain and laughter, wisdom and forgiveness and ultimately gratefulness. And the writing is exquisite. Regardless of one’s own life stage, this book gives you the opportunity to know more and feel "good" not only about your parents’ aging, but also about your own—all within the context of reality. It’s a must read.”
~Helen Dennis, nationally recognized leader on issues of aging, employment and the new retirement, and co-author of The Los Angeles Times best-seller Project Renewment: The First Retirement Model for Career Women.
"Grace, wisdom, and even humor"
“In Artichokes and Grace, career gerontologist Kristen Falde Smith delivers the voices of adults who have stepped up to care for their aging parents. We see that though caregiving for parents can initially feel overwhelming, these individuals ultimately found it rewarding and doable while at times challenging. In addition, the caregivers share how they’re approaching their own aging and the ways these experiences are influencing this. The author interweaves her own discernments and knowledge into the narrative with grace, wisdom and even humor. Rather than a how-to, the book is a well-written, insightful, heartfelt and at times playful reflection on the joys and sorrows of the aging of parents and us.”
~Robin Quinn, Los Angeles editor and writer specializing in the book genres of self-help, health and spirituality, and producer and moderator of panels on publishing and writing issues throughout Southern California.
"Insightful and engaging"
“Kristen Falde Smith artfully describes the joys and tribulations of accepting our own aging process while at the same time dealing with the demands of caregiving for aging parents. Through in-depth interviews and her own personal experience, she offers suggestions, reflections and recommendations for families and individuals experiencing this phase of life. Her writing is insightful and engaging and emphasizes the hope, joy, forgiveness and grace, which are necessary to care not only for our parents but for ourselves. Reading Artichokes and Grace reminds us of who we have become as a result of our parents, and reminds us that we always have a choice even in the most difficult of times.”
~Ellis Waller, Professor at Coastline Community College, Huntington Beach, CA, recipient of the Betty and James E. Birren Emerging Leadership Award and a 2001 recipient of the California Virtual Campus Award for An Exceptional On-Line Course.
“A must read . . . unless you don’t expect to live another day. But if you do, immersing yourself in the stories, thoughts, emotions, and experiences cleverly and sensitively presented in Artichokes and Grace will make your understanding keener, your caring deeper, your patience more persevering, and your life richer. This read is a life-kaleidoscope in print . . . a sensitively crafted articulation of the oxymoronic journey we call aging . . . something we all do . . . each day as our eyes open once again, each night as they close, until that instant they open no more. Artichokes and Grace is like a finely polished mirror which reflects without distortion, an experienced and competent tutor invested in causing discovery of self and others, a powerful magnifying glass that makes accessible what is not obvious . . . but which is ‘oh, so meaningful.’ With unique gifts in observing, feeling, synthesizing, and exposing meaning, emotion, humor and inspiration in the midst of life’s ambiguities, Kristen Falde Smith has patched for us a written quilt. Now wrap yourself in it and find warmth, softness, vibrant images that will sustain you in your own field trip into this world of aging, and sustain you, too, as you watch upon the field trips of others you know and love.”
~Gary Wheeler, President of California Lutheran Homes, and former President & CEO of Front Porch, a nation-wide not-for-profit family of companies and services.
"A must read"
"Honest and optimistic"
In Artichokes & Grace, readers encounter voices from the front lines of respectful gerontological care. In her honest and optimistic voice Kristen Falde Smith expertly guides readers down the often rocky trails of both later-life care and aging with her own experience-tested knowledge and the stories of real caregivers. Smith addresses common difficulties and frustrations head-on and offers readers both empathy and concrete courses of action, which allow for grace, and even joy, during elder-caregiving and aging.
~Julia Eddington, editor and writer
"A delightful read"
A delightful read from an author who shares her professional and human insights into a subject that we all must face at some point. Her humor and pathos can help us all to face those difficult times and decisions.
~Christopher A. Scott LCSW, CGP, Village Counseling Center