Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Easy Way Out - Steven Amsterdam



If you could help someone in pain, would you?

Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heart breaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life?  


Evan is a nurse, and he knows that he’s a good at it, he really does care! However, in his new role, he isn’t saving lives, he’s helping to end them. The book is all about what is called assistant suicide or assisted dying. Evan finds himself working as a dying assistant in a hospital as part of a pilot project. His job has him being present at the suicide of terminally ill patients, going through a script that ensures the procedure passes as legal before handing them their last drink containing a suicide drug. The in their last moments he must stand by to make sure all goes smoothly, and answering the questions of family members who may be present during their loved ones last moments.

Evan has a complicated work life, but he also has a complicated personal life. His mother has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and the prognosis is not good. Evan's father committed suicide when he was a young boy, which may explain part of his fascination with death and assisted suicide. And his sex life is complex, involving a tangled relationship with a male couple. But things get even more complicated when his mother goes missing.

Steven Amsterdam handles the controversial topic sensitively, Evan, the main character comes across as a likeable guy, his mother Viv is a little more of a complex character I found her more difficult to figure out and like. There are some quite detailed sex scenes between Evan and the male couple he's involved with that I could have done without reading in such detail. Evan pushes against the legal boundaries and his own mortality as points throughout the book but after all he is just helping those who are eligible to, die a peaceful death.

Overall it was a great read, but definitely is not a light one. Assisted suicide is a very touchy subject but the book covered it well and really got the emotions going. Evan was a great character and handled everything better than I would have. It's and easy 5/5 from me without any doubt a very touching book and something I would recommend everyone read to further understand assisted suicide and the struggles of Parkinson's.

Thank you to Netgalley and Steven for allowing me to have a copy of the book in return for a honest review.

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