Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's
By Jeanne Murray Walker

OVERVIEW: Award-winning poet, Jeanne Murray Walker tells an extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching tale of her mother's long passage into dementia. This powerful story explores parental love, profound grief, and the unexpected consolation of memory. While Walker does not flinch from the horrors of "the ugly twins aging and death" her eye for the apt image provides a widow into unexpected joy and humor even during the darkest days. (From the dust jacket)

AUTHOR: JEANNE MURRAY WALKER'S poems and essays have appeared in seven books as well as many periodicals, including Poetry, The Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Image, The Atlantic Monthly, and Best American Poetry. She has won many awards. She is Professor of English at the University of Delaware as well as a mentor in the Seattle Pacific University Low Residency MFA Program. In her spare time Jeanne gardens, cooks, and travels.

MY REVIEW: This book touched my heart. It is an interesting, page-turning memoir that is hard to put down. And yet I put it down several times before I could finish reading it. It's a great story. But a tiring one. I found myself feeling tired all over after reading a few chapters. Well then, why read it? Why put yourself through that? Because for me, I met this book with mixed emotions. Although it made me sad, it also made me feel informed and created in me an understanding of those who have to go through this experience. I want to understand. I want to empathize. I think most people do.

I agree with author, Alan Jacobs who said, "A powerful tale of loss but also renewal, pain but also love. A treasure." And also author Marilyn McEntyre who said, Leads us through those rocky passages to a place not only of acceptance but of gratitude." Author and Professor Eugene Peterson wrote, "A sturdy witness to unexpected meanings and beauties and even humor."

This book may not be for everyone. But if you have any interest in Alzheimer's this is a must read. I recommend this book especially for those studying Alzheimer's but also for those who love a well told human interest story. This is a good one.

(This book was given to me by Hachette Book Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)