Take Daily As Needed

by Kathryn Trueblood
University of New Mexico Press
September 2019, 200 pages
ISBN 13: 978-0-8263-6096-0, paperback $19.99



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Maeve Beaufort’s family is messy and complicated, rife with competing demands, difficult compromises, and on-the-spot judgment calls. Her father is spending his retirement on high-ticket items he doesn’t need and doesn’t remember ordering, her children’s teachers are suggesting medication, and her mood-swinging mother is threatening to move in. How much pressure can she withstand before she cracks? Or her family breaks? Or her health crashes? Welcome to Maeve’s life. She is the single mother of Noelle, who has anaphylactic reactions to nuts, and Norm, a nonconformist child whom everyone wants to diagnose. Newly diagnosed herself with Crohn’s disease, Maeve feels as though she is failing herself, her parents, and her children. But with spirit and determination—and a healthy dose of survival humor—she gives it her best go. Anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed, underappreciated, underpaid, and underwater will find a kindred spirit in Maeve, who does the best she can to make the world a little bit better and a little more functional for those around her.

“A writer whose fiction has largely focused on the impact that medical intervention, technology, and culture has on our lives, Trueblood’s latest novel follows Maeve, a chronically ill single mother of two demanding kids. Her father is in the early stages of dementia and her mother has volatile mood swings. Anyone who has ever tried to hold it all together when there is too much to do will relate to Maeve’s plight.”
-BuzzFeed News, Wendy J. Fox

“This novel in stories follows Maeve Beaufort through the maze of adulthood. Early stories chronicle ambulance rides for her highly allergic daughter; a diagnosis of Asperger’s for her elementary-age son; and a divorce from her children’s father….Later in the novel, Maeve’s aging parents try her nerves and break her heart, and a long battle with Crohn’s disease makes it difficult to hold down a job. Teenage children present the most colossal challenge of all: they force Maeve to reckon with the mistakes of her past. Trueblood makes great use of the unconventional form, molding Maeve’s story into a vivid portrait of independent womanhood.”
-Booklist, Courtney Eathorne

“The solid latest from Trueblood (The Baby Lottery) is a novel in nonlinear stories told from the perspective of Maeve, a mother of two and paralegal in Washington State dealing with Crohn’s disease. Throughout, Trueblood confidently sculpts her protagonist….Readers will appreciate the character wrinkles each new story turns up.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Take Daily as Needed explores chronic illness and its effect upon both those who are ill and their loved ones. Trueblood engagingly describes many aspects of family life in a manner that is authentic, honest, and often uncomfortable. The characters and relationships are multifaceted and the reader is allowed to witness to the love, anger, frustration, change and resilience in a way that rings true to life.”
-Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Literature, Maura Madden

“We first meet her in the back of an ambulance as her fourteen-month-old daughter, Noelle, is being rushed to the hospital after having an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. This emergency, where life and death hang in the balance, becomes a metaphor for Maeve’s rollercoaster existence. After all, she bears the name of a figure in popular Irish legend, a warrior queen. Maeve’s challenge is to learn how to rule her unruly household as a warrior, a loving, protective queen.”
-Mom Egg Review, Nancy Gerber