Score: 79/100 (7.9 out of 10)
Here's a heartfelt book that comes from a good place—a place of love, care, and compassion. Unfortunately, this is a book that is held back by shortcuts in its production process and the author's likely battle with English as a second language. It seems very unlikely that this book went through a proofreading process at all or that it was reviewed by beta readers before being published. It is also haphazardly organized, jumping from subject to subject often without a clear method to the madness.
“Care Giving Gift of Unconditional Love” is a memoir by David Soh Poh Huat reflecting on his experience with caring for his terminally ill parents as well as some of the lessons he learned from that experience. Right off the bat, it doesn't get much more heartfelt than that. The general thesis of this book seems to be that a person should be willing and able to care for their loved one in later life just as their loved one has or would have taken care of them earlier in life (had circumstances been better). The book doubles as a short manual on how to care for your sick and/or dying loved ones. Part of the problem is that we're unsure (and we're pretty sure the author was unsure) which of these two things he wanted to accomplish the most: whether to tell his story or to serve a didactic purpose in teaching others living a similar story.
And there's another problem: it's too oddly specific to the situation that the author and his loved ones were in. The author only provides specific medical tips regarding pneumonia, liver abscesses, and cancer because these are the medical problems that his loved ones dealt with. The issue there is that this book is marketed as a book for caregivers in general—presumably caregivers of people who suffer from many types of diseases and illnesses. In other words, the sections talking about pneumonia, liver abscesses, and cancer sound oddly specific and narrow for a book that we thought was supposed to have a larger scope.
The best example we can give you of this problem is when the author attempts to categorize the different kinds of “siblings” who are supposed to take care of a sick or dying loved one. To summarize: there are siblings who are selfish and don't care about their parents or their family, there are siblings who do care but don't want to pay medical expenses or provide care, and there are good siblings who do care and offer to help or pay medical expenses. Now, that's actually pretty relatable to many people facing this situation, but there's one question that's bothersome in all of this: what about the reader who doesn't have siblings? The author automatically seemed to assume that because he had siblings who acted this way that all the readers must have siblings who act in one of these ways. Well, we all know that can't be true. So, by default, the advice is not applicable to all caregivers. What if the caregiver, instead, is in a dispute with their nieces/nephews or in-laws over power of attorney or finances? What then? A far better example the author could've provided instead of listing categories of “siblings” is to list categories of loved ones in general. The reader shouldn't have to do mental gymnastics to obtain this information and figure out if or not it's relevant to them. That's the author's job. The author should provide the information in the best way possible, and this seems far from the best way possible.
Another thing that's a bit worrisome is that the author seems to provide medical advice to various individuals including encouraging them to challenge their doctors, all the while we don't remember reading a disclaimer that this book isn't intended as medical advice and isn't intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any diseases. The author just throws his medical opinions out there and considers it wisdom. Well, we can understand that. We believe things about medicine that run contrary to the establishment like about the benefits of herbs and special massages, however we haven't written a book distributing these beliefs and opinions without a warning or disclaimer. We can see that potentially being a legal or liability issue.
So, from the beginning we are confronted with one of the main issues of the book: the author is still wrestling with English. Even the title, “Care Giving Gift of Love,” is a bit odd. Shouldn't the title be something like “Caregiving: A Gift of Love” or “A Caregiver's Gift of Love?”
There are entire words missing throughout this book. Words like “doctor” are capitalized for no reason. In fact, the author has an inclination to hit the ALL CAPS button a bit too frequently including in his name and the book's title. The sentences are very short and very choppy. The book itself is very short, very choppy, and skips around from topic to topic. Overall, the writing just isn't that good, unfortunately. As it exists now, this book borders on a Power Point presentation.
Where this book does shine is in its core message: that people should love one another and care for one another just as God and Jesus love and care for them. It's a beautiful and powerful message. We just really wish the author had worked more on this book to flesh it out and/or got help in producing it. There really should've been an editor and/or beta reader. As it exists now, this book borders on a Power Point presentation with its very few and very short pages. If you're someone who is purchasing this book, you already care enough about being a caregiver to look past the book's core message. You don't need to be told to care for the sake of caring, you already spent the money to buy a book about caring for the sake of caring.
Still, we support David Soh Poh Huat's inspirational and beautiful mission and hope that he continues to produce books and improve as a writer.
Check it out this book at Walmart!
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