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The Reluctant Caregiver is an honest and intimate look into the caregiver’s perspective of brain injury and it should be a must read for every rehab professional. I have more understanding and compassion for what a caregiver goes through, which will help me better support patients and their loved ones on their rehabilitation journeys.” —Ashlea Walter, BCom, MScOT, Occupational Therapist

“This book’s topic is emotionally intense, but the writing style is clear and vulnerable and heartwarming, which creates a safe landing place for the reader. The result is a gripping memoir about the advantages of choosing self-care, even when it rocks our closest relationships.”
—Grace Kerina, author of Personal Boundaries for Highly Sensitive People


I am a caregiver, professionally and personally, and I work with, and support parents, teachers, doctors, first responders, and therapists.  Devon Ervin’s tender, poignant and accessible memoir, The Reluctant Caregiver, was written for us. More than once while absorbed in the book I found hard to put down, I found myself thinking, 'how did she do this?' and yet she does work valiantly to try to make normal, a life that is anything but.”  

— Marilyn Finch Williams, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Coach, primarily serving professional caretakers


“Reading Devon Ervin's The Reluctant Caregiver: Reclaiming My Life After Caring for a Stroke Survivor feels like having a heart-to-heart with a close friend who's come through the fire stronger than ever. Honest, vulnerable, and relatable, it's a must-read for anyone feeling the weight of caregiving. I wish I'd had this book during my own journey. Let Devon's touching stories remind you that healing can come in many ways.” 

— Maya Bairey, author of Painting Celia


“Having had the privilege of watching this brave and important book come to be, I am thrilled to see it out in the world as a beacon of light to others who may suddenly find themselves in the role of a reluctant caregiver.” 

— Sulima Malzin, author of Arms Filled With Bittersweet


“Devon Ervin chooses her words with the precision of a poet.  Words which took me along in the ambulance; kept me on the edge of my seat while potential life sustaining medical decisions by dedicated doctors seemed based on the flip of a coin; and gave me a place in the support groups while the couple gave back to the community of stroke survivors and families.  What surprises me is that my lingering thoughts are of a yearning to have a relationship like they had built before the stroke; and the utmost respect for where they have taken their family, over time.” 

— Kay DeLay, writer, caregiver, avid reader

“Devon Ervin writes with an honest and intimate voice that allows us to experience her young husband’s baffling stroke, the labyrinth of medical intervention, and loving transformation of their marriage. This book is an affirmation to unexpected caregivers, to people living with aphasia, and to the ones who love them. This story is one part journal, one part guidebook, and one part poetry. Devon’s enduring love for her husband and daughters, her unique professional experience and background, and strength of heart, birth this meaningful read on the impact a stroke makes not just on the body, but on the mind and spirit of family and friends. Read this book to understand what a stroke is, what it can do to a brilliant mind, why it transforms identity, and how it can reconnect a woman to her self. Through these pages, you can watch her grow and find yourself cheering for her through tears.” 

—Chrissa Kruger, daughter-in-law of stroke survivor


“A beautifully woven story of love, self-sacrifice and the journey to healing the self, crafted in a way that feels authentic and relatable. Devon gives permission (not that it is needed) for others to care for themselves - whatever that looks like - after experiencing the loss of a partner as we knew them, in a gentle and loving way.” 

—Susan Johnson, former caregiver


 “This is a story of love, of losing and reclaiming “self”, and of thoughtful and meaningful choices in the face of life events beyond one’s control. Devon’s story allows the reader to drop into her life experiences over a period of time and to witness her fear, her pain, her joy and her recovery. I have a new perspective and respect for caregivers everywhere.”

— Friend of stroke survivor


“You marry the love of your life, and everything is wonderful until suddenly, it's not. This is an honest and insightful telling of one woman's journey when her life is thrown into chaos after her partner has a stroke. I very much felt Devon's struggle as she is suddenly thrown into the role of "caregiver" for her husband only to discover that he has become a different person. It's a story of love and loss as she struggles with difficult choices, a man she no longer knows, and fights to reclaim her own identity. It was a thought-provoking read and one that I'll recommend for my book club.”

— Friend of stroke survivor

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