Leo and Me

Leo and Me

by Joseph Cools


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Leo Aristopolous grew up during the almost unimaginable horror of the Nazi occupation of Crete during the second-world war and the Greek civil war which followed the defeat of the German army. Now, at age 84, a retired professor at the University of Illinois, he carries the scars in his mind and his soul of the years of torment, betrayal and murder which he was forced to endure. His tortured memories may be the cause of his hallucinations which have surfaced in his old age. The story opens as Leo perceives a group of armed terrorists preparing to attack a mall near his home. Panicked, he calls 911 to report the emergency. When the resulting massive response from the first responders fails to identify any real threat, an ambitious State's Attorney sees an opportunity to further his career by petitioning the court to institutionalize the retired history professor. Since the latest of the 911 calls was the fifth false alarm from Leo, the State's Attorney leaps at the chance to grab headlines for himself. He vows to protect the interests of the citizens who have been put into danger by diverting emergency response to imagined threats.
Leo's 24 year-old granddaughter, Kathryn (the grammatically incorrect 'Me' in the story) has a lifetime of unconditional love from Leo, and has promised to take care of him when he is unable to care for himself. Though she is able to enlist the aid of two gifted attorneys, Leo refuses to believe that his perceptions are hallucinations. The story follows the efforts of Leo, Kathryn, and the two attorneys, as they try to save Leo from a fate that for him, is worse than anything he has endured in the past. The author tells the story with a great deal of humor, as well as heart rendering agony as both Leo and Kathryn test the limits of their love for each other in a situation which keeps getting worse.
The story is told in a series of flashbacks to Leo's life as a child in Crete, interspersed with the real time drama of trying to save Leo from himself. The at times self-centered, and always-stubborn Kathryn recalls her life as a child with her 'Papa', who always provided a safe haven for her from childhood turmoil. She tries unsuccessfully to deal with the guilt of wanting to leave her grandfather in order to get on with her own life. The theme of love, guilt, forgiveness and redemption is central to this look into the lives of two people struggling with their own issues, while trying to maintain the connection with each other.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523201372
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/07/2016
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

The author is a semi-retired neuropsychologist who has written eight novels, a children's book, and a book of short stories. His stories, while fictional, have been suggested by his life experiences and his life-long interest in why people do the things they do. Recurring themes in his novels are the nature vs. nurture question, the gift of love and friendship, and the healing power of redemption. The author and his wife have traveled extensively to the countries in Europe, South America, Antarctica, Africa, as well as the arctic, and some of the most beautiful and rugged places in the United States. Many of these places provide a backdrop for the stories he has written. Cools lives with his wife in Woodstock, Illinois, near three of their four children and six grandchildren. This book is dedicated to his youngest granddaughter, Emily, an amazing three-year old.

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