As someone who know the This book touched me very deeply. It follows the story of Claire, a woman in her early forties, who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and a period in her life when she begins a memory book knowing that soon it will be all that is left of her memories. She lives with her younger husband Greg and their young daughter Esther, aged 3. Her older daughter from a previous relationship, Caitlin, is at university. Her mother, Ruth, comes to live with her and she struggles to come to terms with needing the help of her mother.
The first thing Claire forgets is her husband Greg, whom she has been with for only a few years prior to her diagnosis. At one point in the book she describes it as like living with a stranger who everyone else knows. She loses time, suddenly being where and forgetting how she ended up there or why. A dangerous thing when you have a 3-year-old daughter. Her older daughter is experiencing problems in her own life and desperately needs her mother, but feels too scared to talk to her in the wake of her disease. The way Rowan weaves together the stories of this small family struggling to cope with a such a devastating tragedy, but in the end brings them all closer together. For a short period of time we are allowed a window into their lives, their struggles and their triumphs. You will laugh, cry and feel thoroughly exhausted by the end, but happy in the knowledge that everything will be alright somehow. It’s a story of hope in a time of desperation, and how cruel Alzheimer’s truly is. It doesn’t take away your body, but your mind. And how families must cope with loved ones forgetting who they are. Truly not one to miss.
Have you read The Memory Book? Let me know what you think! If you have any other recommendations leave them below!
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