Ninety-five-year-old Lottie Barnes now lives in a care facility in her native Iowa. Restrained by the physical trappings of old age and cognitive decline, she struggles to comprehend her present surroundings. Nevertheless, her life story unfolds as she remembers key moments from her past with sharp clarity.
"...a vivid and genuinely moving story. With a generous heart and sure sentences, Mr. Schumacher gives us an entire life in these few pages, a life we come to care about, and which, though it's a difficult one, is not without its blessings."
- Bret Lott, National Council on the Arts appointee, New York Times best-selling author, Oprah's Book Club selection
"This novella might be the most psychologically honest, narratively engaging, and spiritually beautiful thing I have read this year. The words from these pages haunted me long after I read them, and moved me to gratitude, wonder, and even joy. The word that comes to mind as I read this story is 'life.' Read it and see: what it kindles in you will enliven you."
- Russell Moore, author of The Courage to Stand
"...a poignant reflection on life and dignity. In a single day of an elderly narrator, her life unfolds as she remembers key moments from her past with sharp clarity, even though she's restrained by the unreliable physical trappings of old age. In crafting a story that slides effortlessly between the past and the present with subtle symbolism and careful juxtaposition, Schumacher demonstrates the value of each moment of our lives, and the inherent worth of every person who enters-and exits-our individual narratives."
- K. B. Hoyle, award-winning author of The Gateway Chronicles
"Schumacher has crafted a tender, sensitive, and quietly lyrical portrait, infused with a bright, longing ache. This exploration of the expansive interior life of an elderly character near death, reminds us that we are all living in the middle of stories-stories that are going somewhere. His readers are likely to feel some gentle tug of the eternal vicariously drawing their own hearts along."
- Douglas Kaine McKelvey, author of The Angel Knew Papa and the Dog
"Eric Schumacher is a gifted writer, clear and generous, and full of soul."
- S.D. Smith, author of The Green Ember series
"I have probably written more than a hundred endorsements over the years. And I've meant every one of them. But I've never felt as inadequate as I do right now in trying to explain how important this writing is or how moved I was in reading it. But that's how I feel about this novella from my friend, Eric Schumacher. This is a beautiful story written by a poet who has thought deeply about aging and loss and redemption and the hope of the risen Christ. It's an honor to add my name to it."
- Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Home
"Eric Schumacher offers a deep and gentle reminder that everyone's life tells a story. What's more, there's a story behind our stories."
- Ruth Buchanan, author of Unseasonable
"Eric Schumacher invites readers into an assisted living unit and introduces us to Lottie, who is drifting slowly between periods of cognitive decline and moments of clarity in the last movement of her long life. Lottie's past and present unfold in this remarkable novella with unflinching dignity. The grace of Schumacher's spare and shimmering writing make My Last Name a story readers won't soon forget."
- Michelle Van Loon, author of Becoming Sage
"As Charlotte Marie struggles to remember her name, we discover she is not unacquainted with suffering, loss, pain and heartache. We are introduced to 'Lottie' as an old woman who has survived everyone and everything. Her journey is one that resonates deeply with the experiences of many women. My Last Name is powerful, poignant and beautifully written. Eric Schumacher has given us a gift."
- Christine Caine, author of Undaunted
Don’t let the size fool you.
While the words may be few, the impact is immense. The dignity of life In its final stage is highlighted and remembered with honor in this moving story.