Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Book Review - The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

Amazon UK
Title: The Memory Book
Author: Rowan Coleman
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction)
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

When time is running out, every moment is precious…

When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...?

Let me just say what a fantastic book The Memory Book is. It deals with a subject that doesn't seem to occur in women's fiction that often, Alzheimers, with a certain degree of dignity, respect and sensitivity.

The story is told from various view points, mainly Claire, her 20 year old daughter Caitlin, and Claire's mother Ruth. You also get to learn of important sections of Claire's earlier life, by the things written by her and her family members in the red Memory Book.

Claire is determined not to let the disease take away everything from her, and at times you can see exactly how she must have been before she became ill, and the rest you get the point of view of someone who is utterly frustrated by what the disease is making her become.

I absolutely loved Esther's role in all of this. As a 3 year old, she was too young to really now what was going on with her mummy at least initially, and in a lot of ways Claire and Esther could really identify with each other. And there is some lovely role reversal as the book progresses.

I felt so sorry for Greg, Claire's husband. They have only known each other 3 years, and as one of the newest parts of Claire's memory, he was one of the first people to fade from it.

The Memory Book is a remarkable story, and there was a lump in my throat almost the entire time I was reading it. Rowan Coleman is an exceptionally talented lady, and it was a pleasure to have read this book.

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