Every Waking Moment is the story of a young woman with an unusual name and an unusual gift. Treha works as a janitor at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. Though she might be considered handicapped, she has an affliction with her eyes that causes them to dart back and cannot express her own emotions, Miriam, the director at the Home hired her because she saw something special in her. She has a special, undefined something that can draw people out to communicate with her when they haven't communicated for a long time with anyone else. She shows great respect for them and they all love her. Treha has especially built a mutual friendship with a resident, who was a former doctor. He draws her out of her own shell, and challenges her with puzzles and word games that they both mutally enjoy. Miriam encourages her relationships with the residents but all that comes to a screeching halt when Miriam is forced into retirement and another director comes in who is all about the bottom line and is seemingly without compassion for the very residents she works for. She's coming in with an iron fist that will bring changes for all the residents. When she meets up with Treha she is bent on getting her out of the Home at all costs. She is suspicious of Treha's past as no seems to know anything about her, not even Treha herself. Amidst all of the chaos of the shake up at the Home, are a couple of guys filming a documentary with the residents and in the midst of them telling their stories a long buried secret starts to come to light. When they notice Treha and the special way she affects the residents their focus starts to turn to her and her abilities with the residents and they also want to tell her story. But in helping Treha to find out why she is the way she is more secrets start to come to light.
Chris Fabry has with his last three novels become one of my favorite authors who's next novels to hit shelves I excitedly wait for. While this book had several main characters all with their own stories going on, he took the main character of Treha, and connected them all seemlessly, slowly drawing you in until the secret is totally revealed. While I must admit this story did start off slowly for me once it grabbed me I couldn't put it down. It deals with issues of finding our pasts, facing aging and the loss of independence, treating the elderly with dignity and compassion and pursuing our dreams. I love how the author showed we all have a life story that brought us to where we are and we all need someone to care and to listen to that story. Though it did start off slowly for me and the wrap up of the story wasn't quite what I was expecting it was a really good read!