The blurring of lines between caregiver and patient impacts the lives of two women, if only for a short time.
Octogenarian Tess is haunted by the past. As bits and pieces of her back story are revealed, we see a woman who, while seeking liberation and freedom, imprisons herself for the offense of love.
While she considers excuses like Stockholm syndrome and protecting her abuser, I couldn’t help but feel as though Tess was doing penance and wonder if she ever would have walked away on her own.
The care home resident has more time each day than she likes to reflect on her choices and missed opportunities to enjoy a true reconciliation with her beloved only child.
Less than half Tess’s age, young widow, Sandra, is the breath of fresh air Tess needed in her suffocating existence.
As the newest staff member at the care home, the single mom has a lot on her plate with rejoining the workforce, raising three children and moving on with her life.
I loved Sandra’s character and have much respect for her.
She’s not a super-mom, uber-employee, or even an A-type personality. She’s quite ordinary, trying to figure it all out while moving forward without the love of her life. Sandra could even be called pragmatic. She’s doing her best to be her best, and that’s why, upon learning about physical scars Tess keeps hidden, her gut tells Sandra this quiet, talented woman is also hiding emotional and psychological pain. This is when Sandra decides to help Tess find the healing her soul craves.
Without giving away spoilers, I will say I feel Tess’s choice was quite telling of her life journey and in the end, she freed herself and gave herself permission to let go.
The subsequent meeting between Sandra and Daniel brings together the two ‘halves’ of Tess giving the reader great insight into who Tess truly was.
Tess and Tattoos is an excellent read. This well-written, relatable tale takes only about an hour to read but will stay with the reader for far longer. It could even lead them to consider their own familial relationships and if there are topics avoided for far too long or unspoken words.
Bittersweet and heartfelt, Tess and Tattoos is an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.
Tess and Tattoos
By H.A. Leuschel
Genre: Literature & Fiction/Psychological/Short Story
A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.
In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.
Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.
Tess and Tattoos is one of five gripping stories in HA Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.
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Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.