The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear.
Two generations of dementia are enough!”
Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.
In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.
Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?
5 Stars: Great compassion!
I found The Fountain Of Youth by Steve Shear most interesting because my grandparents managed a retirement home and nursing home. I grew up around these homes, associating with many of the older people who lived in both. When my father became disabled (car accident, my mother, father and I teenager) we moved into an apartment within the Retirement Home. I lived there until I graduated from high school and left home. This book brought back a lot of wonderful memories of the older people that I associated with in my youth. It also brought back memories of those I saw physically and mentally decline.
I love how the author draws the reader into the daily lives of the people who live at “The Fountain of Youth” and I love the title. As I said, I have already lived in an old folks’ home, so when I get old, I want to go to a young folks’ home. The colorful characters who reside at “The Foundation of Youth” bring with them their past experiences, their lifelong stories, their strong personalities, human emotions. They exhibit an ability to adjust to their surroundings as they fight to stay in control of their physical and mental health with full knowledge that the road ahead is not what anyone would want for themselves or anyone else.
Main character Robert Glickman is acutely aware of his genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has lost family and friends, and he refuses to go quietly into this physical and mental hell. Adding a little romance can’t hurt. Robert did his best to encourage others through reading to them. Here is a good quote from Robert: “As I dropped down to LL2, it occurred to me that I no longer considered the lowest floor as Hades or the River Styx and when the elevator doors opened it didn’t seem as hot and oppressive. It was certainly quiet however. I stepped into the lounge and stared at the couch where O’Reilly and I read Gatsby. I could still see the crowd of patients in wheelchairs, on walkers, and sitting uncomfortably in those same gray folding chairs everyone purchases from Costco… Patients! I referred to them as patients, not residents. The word rolled off my lips without a bit of concern. Maybe I was reconciling myself to the future. Never!”
You probably know someone or even care for a loved one who is struggling with one or more diseases that cause dementia. As researchers work hard to find cures for these diseases, it is our job to stay informed of the latest advances in medications and assistance for end of life. Although fiction, I think this author has addressed these issues well.
I give the book 5 stars because the author shows great compassion for those afflicted and this book addresses a difficult subject that affects missions of people, their family, friends and caregivers.
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Message From The Author: “When I was growing up, sharing a single bedroom with three brothers in a duplex on Dartmouth Avenue, my maternal grandmother, Mama, lived with us and had her own room. Often, she would babysit when our parents went out and we would play gin rummy, Mama and me. She cheated but I still won. Mama would also buy individual packets of sunflower seeds (we called them ‘polly’ seeds) from our uncle who lived upstairs. He was a pharmacist and even though she bought them wholesale, she sold them to us boys’ retail. Of course, we knew where she hid them so I’m afraid to say she got the short end of that deal. At the time I didn’t think she knew we were stealing them. At the time I was young and stupid.
When Mama was around nine-two my parents moved her to a nursing home. In those days you really didn’t want to visit a nursing home, but we did, every Sunday. During one visit, Mama introduced me to ‘Aunt’ Charlotte, her next-door neighbor at the home. “Mama,” I said, “She’s not my aunt.” But she stood her ground and insisted Charlotte was my aunt and I should greet her accordingly. Finally, while I was still arguing with her, she said, “Stevie, mit her money and no one to leave it to, she’s your aunt.” Again, I was young and stupid.
Thank the powers greater than us (if there are any), Mama did not live long in that nursing home (which she hated) and she died with the humor I grew up with. She was one of the reasons I wrote The Fountain of Youth.”
Paperback: 298 Pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (Last Rose Of Summer Rose) (May 19, 2017)
Message From Author Steve Shear: My early paintings (1986 – 2013) can best be described as expressionistic and surreal portraiture/figure, often larger than life. Most are from live models and from my sculptures, but others come from my imagination. My objective was to elicit an emotional response through composition, color, shapes, and the application of paint, while at the same time retaining the correct anatomy, either realistically or through purposeful exaggeration. In the latter part of that earlier period, I pushed the envelope by combining abstraction with these real and surreal approaches to the figure in order to create a synergistic result. One example of combining these approaches is the Sisters of Baghdad.
Many of my ideas came from my drawings (virtually thousands of them) which were created out of my head on almost a daily basis. An example of this is The Chess Queen. In 2013 I put the paint brushes and sculpting tools aside and began writing fiction, first poetry then novels, screenplays, and stage plays. Six of my novels have been published and two of my stage plays. See below.
In 2020 I began painting again. This time I turned to color and shapes rather than portraiture and figure. My paint is applied in thick layers exaggerated even more so by multiple layers of glue serving as an underpinning. The glue not only adds thickness to the paint but also runs in ways which produces unique shapes that take on lives of their own. Several examples are shown on this website.
Two of my more recent paintings (immediately below) are truly larger than life depictions of a ‘Vase of many Colors’ and of the Greek mythological bad lady Medea. Each painting is 32×48 and relies heavily on multiple layers of glue to add ‘serious’ thickness to the paint.
In the past, my work was exhibited at a number of galleries in Boulder, Denver, Tucson, and here in Brentwood California. I spent five years painting under the watchful eyes of Jean Packard, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute, two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence, Italy, and several years at the Boulder Art Academy in Boulder, Colorado. I also trained in sculpting under Valentin Okorokov, an accomplished Russian trained painter and sculptor.
The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.
The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads. Also, the stage play has just been completed. The screenplay has also been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. The Click, my third novel, was published by The Wild Rose Press in September of 2019, again the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.
All three books of my trilogy, Confronting Religious Fanaticism – An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts & Hungry Bears, and Ira Neebest and The First Coming have been published. In addition, my first book of poetry, Metaphorically Speaking was just published.
My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.
I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and online by Vango Art. I spent two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence Italy and several years at the Boulder Art Academy.
I practiced patent, trademark, copyright and other forms of intellectual property law for over 40 years, and I was the executive director and founder of Silicon Valley Seminars. We conducted intellectual Property workshops throughout this country, Israel, Germany, and Canada since 1984.
Amazon Author’s Page:
Paintings-Drawings and Sculpture For Sale by Artist Steve Shear
Author’s Page At Book Marketing Global Network: