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Sarah Gordon was a ballerina until a car accident took her left leg. She had spent her life focused on the world of professional ballet. Nearly 30 years old, she now must reinvent herself.
Her husband, Joe, blames himself for her accident and wants to ensure nothing bad ever happens to her again–at any cost. To become whole once more, Sarah is forced to decide if independence is worth more than love, and if having one means giving up the other.
Praise for The Caretaker:
“In Sarah Gordon, George Weinstein has masterfully created a heroine of such amazing courage, wit, and spunk that I found myself totally immersed in her struggle to become her own person following a life-changing accident. Sarah’s story belongs to anyone who has ever gone through pain and loss to come out stronger and better. Don’t miss this one!”
– Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls
“George Weinstein’s The Caretaker is an intricate, grim-humored study of precarious young love on the verge of collapse. Gracefully layered with artistry, physicality and emotion, this book will compel readers to question the very nature of love and loyalty as they limp with the wounded protagonist through the minefield of her marriage and life without one leg. Deeply hopeful and bitingly painful by turns, The Caretaker will leave the reader cringing, laughing and ultimately, grateful.”
– M.J. Pullen, best-selling author of The Marriage Pact, Regrets Only, and Baggage Check
“In this beautifully told story of a dancer whose career in ended by a tragic accident, Weinstein looks way beyond the easy and obvious clichés to the dilemmas of our closest relationships-spinning a moving, tender,and ultimately hopeful tale of a woman seeking to relearn the greatest art of all, the art of love.”
– Man Martin, author of Paradise Dogs and Days of the Endless Corvette
“George Weinstein’s latest novel is a sympathetic exploration of a carefully constructed life gone awry. The writing is visceral, the problems are real, and there is no clear way forward. These characters break our hearts and mend them all over again, reminding us that it takes courage to establish an authentic place for ourselves in the world.”
– Kimberly Brock, author of The River Witch and Georgia Author of the Year 2013
“When will George Weinstein get the recognition he deserves? It should be now. In The Caretaker, he explores a kind of claustrophobia created by disfigurement (is there losstrophobia?). He shows the damage this special kind of loss can cause to loves and marriages. We also see how hearts dancing together through the hardships can overcome.”
– Charles McNair, author of Pickett’s Charge and Land O’ Goshen
“This is a novel of healing, redemption and discovery. The characters leap off the page! You can’t help but bond with them as the story progresses. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey this book took me on. Highly recommended.”
– Jackie Lee Miles, author of All That’s True, Cold Rock River, and Roseflower Creek
“George Weinstein’s novels are beautifully written and a pure delight to read, with characters so real you may forget they were born of the author’s imagination. In this eloquent portrayal of loss and rebirth, The Caretaker gives readers an intimate look at the inner workings of a marriage turned to obsession. With his vivid descriptions and engaging prose, Weinstein will leave you eagerly awaiting his next book, and his evocative imagery will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”
– Valerie Joan Connors, author of In Her Keeping and Shadow of a Smile
“By creating a relationship of both intimacy and dependence, Weinstein reminds us of the central question of our emotional lives, that which often remains cloaked but is vital to our own stories-what to do when love pins us down rather than lifts us up. In the end, this is a hopeful story of a young woman with the courage to demand change, in herself, and others. A liberating, thoughtful and tender tale told by an observant writer tuned into the details of human frailty.”
– Doug Crandell, author of The Flawless Skin of Ugly People and Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed.
“George Weinstein possesses an uncanny ability to join the inner and outer worlds of his characters. George’s impeccable attention to the nuances of human behavior is remarkable, as is his in-depth research on topics that lend credibility to his story.”
– Terry Segal, Author of The Enchanted Journey: Finding the Key That Unlocks You and Hidden Corners of My Heart
Special Offer for Book Clubs
Order personalized, autographed copies for your book clubs for $15 apiece! Use the form on the Contact page to tell me how many copies you need, the names of the recipients for personalizing, and when you want me to talk to your group. I’ll visit personally if you meet anywhere in North Georgia, or I’ll call or Skype to connect with you anywhere else in the world, to discuss the novel and the “story behind the story.”
1. Who does the title refer to?
2. What really is Sarah’s primary challenge? What does she think her challenge is initially and why?
3. Why has Joe assumed the role of Sarah’s caretaker?
4. What effect does Sarah’s mother have on her?
5. What effect does Joe have on Sarah’s mother?
6. How does Rita help Sarah toward self-improvement?
7. What is Rita’s “fatal flaw”?
8. What role does Mrs. O’Malley play in Sarah’s development?
9. How does Sarah’s approach to conflict change over time? Why is this change not always effective?
10. What incident from Joe’s past informs the way he behaves toward Sarah?
11. How does Sarah’s attitude toward her prosthesis evolve?
12. How do Joe and Sarah each regard sex and how do they try to use it to influence their relationship as the novel progresses?
13. What is the changing role of art in Sarah’s life?
14. What is the changing role of ballet in Sarah’s life?
15. Why is guilt, shame, and the fear of blame often more powerful and damaging influences than actual actions by people?
Advances in prosthetic limb technology: Hugh Herr and dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis on TED stage:
Paralympian and dancer Amy Purdy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qncM9wZrUzw
Teen ballerina Paulina Fuller: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfl9ll-V580
Sophie de Oliveira Barata’s TED talk: Prosthetic limbs as surrealist art:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLwCrMKfouo