Press & Praise

The Caregivers: A Support Group’s Stories of Slow Loss, Courage, and Love

“[A] beautifully written account of a year in the company of caregivers… The Caregivers is as elegantly constructed as a novel, but more than that, Lake writes about these people with such warmth and vividness that they feel as memorable as our favorite fictional characters. In sharing these stories with readers, Lake has written a book that bears witness to their ‘necessary, intimate, private heroism.’”

The Boston Globe

“A moving and important book.”

Tracy Kidder

Pulitzer-prize winning author of Soul of a New  Machine and Strength in What Remains

“Lake shines as a storyteller… Her sympathetic portrayals are touching and thought-provoking, but Lake is at her best when examining the place and character of caregiving in today’s society…. Readers … will be rewarded with a new perspective on growing old in America. Those who are currently caregivers will find in Lake’s subjects understanding and compassion, just as they share with each other in the context of the support group.”


“We are legion, we members of the middle-aged, mostly female caregiver corps, and we work our extra jobs behind the scenes. Since many of us can’t seem to summon up the energy to join that support group our friends keep suggesting to us, it’s quite canny of writer Nell Lake to provide one in book form…­­­Lake tells a good tale, and—just like an actual support group—provides comfort in the time-honored form of shared experience: oh, you’ve been through that too.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

“… the caregivers portrayed here exude a compassionate demeanor that is contagious. Certainly Lake’s experience and thus her book are highly relevant…. These, then, are snapshots of a new kind of hero…”


“An elegantly written and thoughtful book that considers one of the biggest of the Big Questions we face as a society—how do we care for a ballooning aging population, with people living longer but with more health problems?—as well as the personal challenges of individuals who care for loved ones who are elderly or infirm.”

Valley Advocate

“Virtually every one of us worries about an elderly family member who needs care, or knows we’ll be responsible for someone in the future, or fears needing such care someday ourselves. Yet seldom does a fine and thoughtful writer address this subject. Nell Lake’s warm and compassionate book fills a gap, speaks to universal anxieties, and lets us know we are not alone. I hope it starts a national conversation.”

Adam Hochschild

Author of To End All Wars

“This profound study on the effects of tending to ill loved ones offers powerful testimony to friendship and mutual support.”

Publishers Weekly

“The Caregivers offers companionship to those shouldering the sudden, complex, asymmetric, and protracted demands of caring for a family member in decline. Kind and beautifully written, The Caregivers shares stories of lives overtaken by this common but often all-too-private, messy, and mandatory generosity. The book is not only a lucid examination of life’s closing years, but a celebration of the solace and strength that come to many who accept this burden.”

Mark Kramer

Writer-in-residence, Boston University journalism department and author of Invasive Procedures: A Year in the Lives of Two Surgeons

“Nell Lake’s chronicle of some ordinary people who do some extraordinary things is a perfect match of subject and writer.  They are inspiring, and so is she.” 

Daniel Okrent

Author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

“Nell Lake has achieved a remarkable intimacy with the people she writes about, and she repays their trust with this refined and affecting book.  In its sensitivity, compassion, and wisdom, it  exemplifies the virtues it celebrates.”

Richard Todd

Author of The Thing Itself

“Nell Lake’s The Caregivers illuminates a subculture all too easily overlooked and undervalued: the men and women who toil to ease the final days, weeks, and often years of loved ones who need help navigating everything from the simplest activities of daily living to the complexities of transportation and docs and meds and endless paperwork. In prose that is by turns elegiac, humorous, gritty, and intimate, the author gives her subjects the one response they so amply deserve and so rarely receive: a deep and abiding respect.”

Madeleine Blais

Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Uphill Walkers: A Family Memoir and In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle

Interview on KUOW, Seattle’s NPR station

Segment with call-in on WNYC’s  Leonard Lopate Show

The Stress, Grief, and Graceful Humanity of Caregivers, RadioBoston, WBUR

“Love, Loss, Courage,” Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Heroism at Home: An Intimate Look at the Growing Ranks of Caregivers, WBUR’s CommonHealth

An Intimate Portrait of Caring, New England Public Radio

Joy and Sorrow: New Book Delves Into the Intimate World of Family Caregiving, The Daily Hampshire Gazette