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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Mattered People by Aaron Palm is about a girl who lives in an island community. Not having many jobs on the island to choose from, Dina worked at The House, a mental health facility for the elderly. The residents can be ornery and sometimes dangerous, but she enjoyed her job. In a year's time, Dina experienced a lot of death, most of it close and personal. Her greatest personal loss was when she miscarried her baby in her second trimester. Grief-stricken and drowning in despair, Dina was sitting on the beach just wanting the pain to go away. Numb from her pain and lost in her anguished thoughts, she didn't notice the tide rolling in. With her head on her knees, Dina was completely unaware that she was in danger until a mud covered dog came to her rescue. Both of them, alone and scarred, left the beach together. Dina named her new companion Ramone. She took Ramone home, and he helped to change her life. Since he loved to escape and have adventures, Dina was forced to talk to the people in her community. Dina had no choice when she was hunting for Ramone and rescuing him from his escapades. Between Ramone and the eclectic residents at The House, will she learn to live and love again?
Mattered People by Aaron Palm depicts a year in a young woman's life. I found this book to be very true to life, with its grief, laughter, and the possibility of new life and love. Dina's character is a strong woman who experienced heartbreaking circumstances in a short amount of time. She faced it with courage and humor, which is why she is so good at her job. This story gives a realistic view of life in an elderly care facility and its patients. This book contains a lot of tragedy, but can still be considered inspirational and even humorous, because of Dina's extraordinary strength of character and fortitude.