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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (21)

  1. It does sound a fun series.

    1. Thanks, Rosie. It is, and quite different to the usual fare. Also, it is very popular in its country of origin, and I can’t say I’ve read many books written by Dutch writers (although a few set there). 🙂

    1. Thanks, Pete. I’ve never heard of that one and love Pauline Collins, so I must check it out. In Hendrik’s case, there’s no conspiracy behind his stay at the nursing home. It was his own decision and he has no relatives left. In fact, one of the issues in this novel is that they have changed the criteria for admission to nursing homes in Holland (for those who cannot just pay for them) and now only elderly who are very dependent qualify, and they are quite worried about a possible closure of their nursing home. He is quite wonderful and even the characters who are not as likely sound true to life!

      1. Olga, your exchange here with Pete astonished me. Granted I don’t know everything about what “care” can be gotten for free in the USA, but I’ve never heard of any kind of free nursing home. I watch many people who still haven’t gotten their children out of the nest now having to add the expenses of supporting elderly parents. Very few can afford nursing homes. I’ve always assumed that when I can no longer work, I’ll have to go ahead and die… Free nursing homes? Fascinating. TGIF hugs.

        1. Thanks, Teagan. As you know, there is a National Health Service in the UK (there’s a similar thing in Spain. I don’t know how the system works in Holland, but from the book, I assume it is somewhat similar). It is free “at the point of delivery”, but of course, everybody pays taxes (that depending on one’s earnings can be fairly high) and that is where a big part of the money goes (although, well… not enough). When I worked in old age psychiatry there was always a bit of a struggle to decide if elderly patients had “mental health needs” (in that case the NHS had to pay for the nursing home, for example), or not. If not, but they could not look after themselves, then they had to be funded by social services. But it is means tested. If somebody has a property, for example, they have to sell it and use the money for their care. When they don’t have enough money left to pay for their care, then social services would stop in. But there are people who do not have enough money to begin with and then yes, hopefully they would be looked after, although, as I say, the criteria has been getting more stringent (and usually there are very long waiting lists for the places that offer beds funded by social services, as these nursing homes have to provide the care within the budget given, and it can be very difficult as money is getting tighter and tighter). Time to emigrate, Teagan?

          1. I see, Olga. Thank you for the explanation. Time to emigrate? LOL 😀 I probably would if I thought Crystal could survive the air travel easily.
            Have a wonder-filled weekend.

          2. You too! (Perhaps Canada…)

  2. It sounds like a worthwhile book, Olga. I appreciate your mindful review — you touched on an important thing for me. I can’t do bittersweet right now… Okay I rarely can do it. LOL. Still, I enjoyed your review. Hugs!

    1. Thanks, Teagan. It has its very sad moments and some very amusing ones, but I understand perfectly well what you mean. Have a great Tuesday!

  3. dgkaye says:

    Right up my alley Olga. I’ve added it! 🙂

    1. Sorry, Debby. I found your comment lingering in the Spam folder. I wonder if it is related to your recent problems with WordPress. I saw your post on Facebook but have no idea what it could be (other than writing to the happy engineers).
      I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Even with the sad parts, it’s still a great read. Have a great week.

      1. dgkaye says:

        Thanks for letting me know Olga. Once again I’m going to spam jail it seems. Thanks for keeping your eye out. <3

        1. Thank you. I try to remember to check but sometimes I forget. I’m sure it’s a temporary thing.

          1. dgkaye says:

            I hope so. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Hilary. I think you’ll love it. ♥

  4. I must say Olga, that this sounds like a really interesting read.

    1. It is, Robbie. The first one is a bit lighter (and I’d recommend starting by reading that one) and I have grown very fond of Hendrik and his friends. Have a great weekend.

  5. ShimonZ says:

    Sounds interesting, but very different from anything I’ve encountered regarding enjoyment of old age.

    1. Thanks, Shimon. The characters are well portrayed and I am very fond of Hendrick. It is a very interesting take on nursing homes and institutional elderly care, that is for sure. Even with their sad moments, thinking of these books makes me smile.

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