I admit that the cover of this book is not much to look at but now seeing it here on my post I understand why. The Way to the Cats by Yehoshua Kenaz was the book that I chose to read for Israel.
This book follows a woman named Mrs. Moscowitz and her stay in a rehabilitation hospital. It was not like any place that I have ever worked, and I have worked in rehab before. I do not know if this is a culture based variance or not. However, the patients all did their own laundry, and then gave gratuities to the staff to help them with their care.
To be honest I did not like Mrs. Moscowitz. I don’t know if this is because I have worked with people like her or if she was written to be unlikeable. I found her to be rude, selfish, judgmental and a liar. She is in there for a broken leg/hip it is never really explained what she broke. She refuses physical therapy, calls the nurses names, and then when one of her roommates goes to another hospital she moans about who will do her laundry. In this unnamed building she blames everyone for her misfortune.
This is not a bad book, I just did not like the protagonist and so it is had to write a review that is not biased. Having said that if I were teaching a nursing class this would be required reading. There is a dementia patient in there who wanders, men who are looking for “love”, manipulative staff, and a general feeling of loneliness and fear.
The title of the book did not make sense until the last few chapters after Mrs. Moscowitz got back to her apartment, and then it all had to do with Betty. Someone who lives across the court yard, who they have only ever met on the phone.
“‘It’s not a place for anyone,’ said Mrs. Moscowitz and smiled sadly. ”
“Her lips parted to say something, but she immediately regretted it, looked around, leaned over the table, put her head close to Mrs. Moscowitz and whispered confidentially: ‘Once I was a human being.'”