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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 March 2013
I'd love to be part of Phyllida Law's family! To have her in the family circle could only make life and the world a better place. She writes of events in an endearingly disparate and eccentric way. In so doing, these jottings capture completely the minutiae of day to day life. The reader is able to feel the warmth and love despite her assertion that she's not a huggy person. She is a warm, giving and truly loving individual though and that's what counts.

It's a privilege to have shared some of the close and deeply personal experiences described with humour and sensitivity. Ma comes across as a strong willed, articulate and entertaining individual who, although increasingly diminished by her illness, retains an inner strength and insight. We share a journey where we know the end and when it arrives, it's one of the most moving passages I've ever read.

I loved the sketches, which even on a Kindle are clear and entertaining. I loved the immediacy and vigour of the text. And I really enjoyed the 'acting' snippets. These provided, in context, a welcome balance to the tale. Thank you Phyllida Law, for sharing a very personal and profoundly moving journey with a wider audience. Some parts will stay with me forever.
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I found this a funny, heart -warming and poignant read. Phyllida Law returned home to look after her mother when her mental capacity started to deteriorate and this book is the story of the changes both she and her mother had to go through while her mother's Alzheimer's disease progressed.

It is never easy for anyone to try and put their life on hold to look after someone else but sometimes, as the author shows, it can have its amusing moments as well as its more frightening aspects. Having to get up in the night several times because her mother thought it was breakfast time proved to be the least of the author's worries. Trying to have conversations with someone who cannot grasp the simplest piece of information becomes an everyday nightmare of misunderstandings and repetitions.

Through it all the author found herself mislaying her car keys among other important objects and she was forced to wonder about her own brain and whether she was heading in the same direction as her mother. Trying to organise her own working life at the same time as ensuring her mother had the care she needed in her own absences was also a minefield as her mother frequently did not understand why she was going away.

I liked the staccato style of the writing in this book and loved the black and white drawings which display well in my e-book edition. I think this a book I shall return to time after time for its humour and its down to earth picture of looking after a relative with dementia.
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on 2 March 2013
So well written. I laughed out loud as well as having a tear in my eye. An absolute must and a book that can be re-read how ever many times you like. Loved it.
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on 10 April 2013
With this book, as with 'Notes to my Mother-in-law', you feel as though Phyllida is sitting down for a cup of coffee with you, in your home, of an afternoon, and simply having a chat about the ups and downs of looking after and aged relative. She writes with such ease. The topic of her mother's slow decline ought to be one of huge angst and sadness, but the book is full of joy, and humour at the vagaries of life.
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on 20 May 2013
An enjoyable but slightly frustrating read. In parts of the book I wanted to know lots more and felt that the author had only just scratched the surface of a particular episode. Also, it flitted around so much that I occasionally wondered who it was in the family with dementia!
However, having said that it is obviously written with love and was both amusing and sad. I wish I could give it three and a half stars.
I found that The Little Girl in the Radiator is a much funnier and more poignant book about the ups and downs of caring for a relative with Alzheimer's Disease.
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on 19 April 2013
I was quite disappointed with the content of the book,The story line seemed to flit about alot.The dementia was hardly mentioned,I expected a more in depth story line.A very pleasant book for easy reading
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on 2 April 2013
A wonderfully written portrait of family life, beautifully crafted with a lightness of touch which instantly captivates and yet provides a depth of illumination. The quirks of life are laid bare, as are the quirks of family, members of the family, and those that become so important to the family. Being the eldest of 5 with a mother diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimers when she was aged 53 much of the story resonated. My father cared full-time for my mother at home for 12 years and without laughter, "golden girls" and a family mucking in together in a very "best endeavours" fashion in what sometimes felt like ridiculous circumstances, we would not have coped in anyway. This book gave me greater insight to how my dad might have felt at times, possibly how my mother felt too, and helped me look back on my own personal experiences with a new warmth, and an occasional tear. For all that we have to cope with these things, "normal" life carries on too. For all that it was a horrifying journey, we can't forget there were good times too, and laughter.

A well balanced book which was a delight to read. (From one who was concerned that it might be "too" upsetting....)
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on 31 May 2013
I loved this book! An honest story of love for a mother, frustrations of some treatments she received from those who should have known better, and tremendous humour and laughter, where there could have been tears!
Phillida Law has a way of letting one into her very thoughts one minute, and crying with laughter the next.
Having had experience with mental frailty in my family, I could empathise so much with the Author. However, it' a very good book to read, whether anyone has had the sadness of watching someone they love, slip into their own world.
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on 11 August 2013
Compared to the John Suchet Novel on the same subject i found this much more light hearted - the way that Phyllida and her daughters Emma and Sophie Thompson and their friends coped with Ma's antics throughout her condition whilst trying to balance work and homelife was heart warming and heart wrenching and you could sense the tiredness in Phyllida's voice at times. Much humour injected on what can be a heavy subject. Hats off to Phyllida.
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on 11 June 2013
As we live just a few miles from Ardentinny and my husbands family were brought up there I looked forward to reading this book and I wasn't disappointed, a fantastic read, not just because I recognised a lot of the places,shops and even some of the people mentioned it was beautifully written, some times I laughed and other times I wanted to cry, especially when my husbands lovely nana was mentioned. Well worth a read, very difficult to put down until you finish it.
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