“In the 1930’s, being a single mother was not only shocking, it was a challenge overcome by only the strongest of women. Anne Gillis was such a woman, and with her stubborn determination she managed to take care of her and her son’s financial needs, and went on to leave an indelible imprint on the next generation as well.
Robert Gillis has written an extraordinary tribute to his uniquely lovable grandmother, Anne Gillis. The story follows her from her birth in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, through her years as a dutiful nurse to the elderly as the soul proprietor of Uphams Corner Rest Home, to the humorous and bittersweet final years of her life. With great pride and honesty, the author does a remarkable job of remembering and relating the part of the story that occurs during his childhood as if he were still using the eyes of a child. It is also with great skill that he captures the poignant moments near the end of a life well lived, as well as the grief of those who have been deeply affected by it.
Biography can often be a difficult genre: to produce an enjoyable and moving book, the author needs to have true passion for his subject. There is no doubt Robert Gillis has the required intense-love, and the result is that the reader is privileged to call Anne Gillis a new friend. Robert Gillis lives in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he works as a computer programmer and writer for a local paper.
A wonderfully sweet book, I strongly recommend it.”
— Reviewer: Nancy Morris, Allbooks Reviews.
“Growing older is the same for all of us-and people do not become useless as they do so, indeed, they can be a great source of knowledge and friendship, and all they ask is a little of your time. For anyone who has ever loved a senior citizen, this book will touch your heart. Anne Gillis, my Nana. I loved her dearly. What began as a stop to drop off the newspaper blossomed into a very special responsibility lasting over two decades. I visited her daily since I was five; I shopped for her, watched out for her, took care of household repairs as I got older, and listened as she talked about her remarkable life. After Nana died, I started writing about her, and found that there could be no better way to accept her passing than by celebrating her life. This book is a very personal, special story that I would like to share with you. — Robert Gillis
Robert Gillis grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts. A professional computer programmer for nearly 20 years, his first love has always been writing, and he has written a regular opinion piece for the Foxboro Reporter since 1996. “Nana” is his first published book, a labor of love written in memory of his beloved grandmother.