Thursday, January 7, 2010

Along for a journey no one wants to take

The novels that affect me most are those in which I feel a sense of empathy for the characters.

Such was the case with "Still Alice" (ISBN 9781439102817) by Lisa Genova.

Alice is a 50-year-old Harvard professor who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

How the disease affects her relationships with her colleagues, her husband, her children, and even herself, proved fascinating.

The reader is drawn on Alice's journey, all the while wondering, what would I do? how would my spouse react?

Genova also offers food for thought on how we as a society treat those with dementia.

"She wished she had cancer instead. ... And while a bald head and a looped ribbon were seen as badges of courage and hope, her reluctant vocabulary and vanishing memories advertised mental instability and impending insanity. Those with cancer could expect to be supported by their community. Alice expected to be outcast."

Alice will stick with you, and may make you more aware of the horror of dementia.

- Tricia Ambrose

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Blogger Tricia said...

Got lots of reading done this weekend courtesy of one of our many blizzards, including "Making Rounds with Oscar" about the cat that lives in a nursing home for Alzheimer's patients. Oscar made the news last year when it was revealed that he keeps vigil over patients just before they die. It was an interesting peak into an illness about which I know very little. One patient's son talked about how he had to accept that his mother was gone and fall in love with the woman she had become. The author, the doctor who cares for the patients, describes how they are unlearning everything they have spent a lifetime learning. Very eye-opening.

February 10, 2010 at 10:41 PM 

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