‘The Care Home’ by Rebecca Rijsdijk

The Care Home is Rebecca Rijsdijk’s fourth collection of poetry. This book deals with what it is like to work as a carer with our without a global pandemic. It portrays the people the author works with, and it portrays the inner life of the carer. We had two pals write nice words about it:

When people say “not all heroes wear capes”, we sinfully imagine no cape at all. But here, Rebecca shows us that the forgotten heroes do wear capes; they just wear them back to front and call themselves nurses as they wipe away a variety of bodily fluids. Their job is not saving the world or anything near as glamorous or self-indulgent; it is bloody, and it is gruesome. It is work we have trouble stomaching; saving dying people from the fear of their own demise.

The Care Home is as honest a portrayal of life as you will ever get. There is no glory or fame, just the stark realization that you are dying, and you are lucky enough to do so not watching death tick another life away, day in and day out. — Mickey Finn

When we found out that Rebecca Rijsdijk was releasing a new book we got excited, seriously excited. You Were Married was one of our favourite books of a confusing year. The Care Home is extraordinary with the art of storytelling. For Anita pulls at your heartstrings as all she wants is sleep, and she doesn’t care about the world who don’t know her struggles. A Pay Check Does Not Reflect Your Worth In A Society That Has Lost Its Mind hits you like the morbidity obese woman congratulating her co-worker on being pregnant. A Cup Of Dementia is heartbreaking, human and one that will stay in your mind longer than most. The direct approach to the poems that felt little to no need to get bogged down with metaphors. Every poem, line, word seems to be delicately placed in order like a care home resident doing a jigsaw puzzle. Maybe she did write the perfect book. Perhaps the book doesn’t deserve our first perfect score, but this is a book that is so relevant to our times that people are dying, that each poem is a different person in a residency, and she is their journal before they die. — Poetry Book Reviews

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