A difficult story told, unfortunately, in a confusing manner,
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This review is from: Remind Me Who I Am, Again (Kindle Edition)
When I reviewed another of Linda Grant's books (When I Lived in Modern Times) I felt the storyline frequently drifted, occasionally quite seriously, from the underlying theme. Nevertheless I was sufficiently impressed to give the book a five star rating - and to download a copy of 'Remind Me Who I Am, Again'.
Three years ago my wife was diagnosed with dementia and I was hopeful that Linda Grant's book would, in telling her mother's story, give me a further insight into dementia and how another family handled the many problems it produces.
Dementia manifests itself in many forms and, in the case of Linda's mother, allowed her to live in her own flat, several hundred miles from Linda and her sister, for a relatively long period. Their frequent telephone conversations were relatively coherent but frequently tend to be highly acerbic. That form of dementia is significantly different to the one I, and my wife's highly experienced carer, are now experiencing.
Linda's book spends, in my view unfortunately, many, many pages delving into the genealogical structure of the family and how her mother remembers - or confuses - their relatives.
Linda Grant has earned the number of awards for both her fiction and non-fiction writing including an award from Age Concern. This latter award I find slightly surprising for, although the book gives a certain insight into the issues of dementia, it has a very narrow focus and is highly influenced by the family's strong Jewish background.
If you're looking for a broader based study of the practical - with the emphasis on PRACTICAL - issues involved in facing up to dementia I'd point you in the direction of Oliver James Contented Dementia. The story of how Dorothy Johnson, based on her experiences with her mother's dementia, developed a widely accepted - and very practical - approach to the handling of this disability is well worth reading.