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Five years ago, Andrea Gillies-- writer, wife, and mother of three--seeing that her husband's parents were struggling to cope, invited them to move in. She and her newly extended family relocated to a big Victorian house on a remote, windswept peninsula in the far north of Scotland, leaving behind their friends and all that was familiar; hoping to find a new life, and new inspiration for work.Her mother-in-law Nancy was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease, and Keeper charts her journey into dementia, its impact on her personality and her family, and the author's researches into what dementia is. As the grip of her disease tightens, Nancy's grasp on everything we think of as ordinary unravels before our eyes. Diary entries and accounts of conversations with Nancy track the slow unravelling. The journey is marked by frustration, isolation, exhaustion, and unexpected black comedy. For the author, who knew little about dementia at the outset, the learning curve was steeper than she could have imagined. The most pernicious quality of Alzheimer's, Gillies suggests, is that the loss of memory is, in effect, the loss of one's self, and Alzheimer's, because it robs us of our intrinsic self-knowledge, our ability to connect with others, and our capacity for self-expression, is perhaps the most terrible and most dehumanizing illness. Moreover, as Gillies reminds us, the effects of Alzheimer's are far-reaching, impacting the lives of caregivers and their loved ones in every way imaginable.
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"Forthright, smartly researched, and warmly recounted...Gillies writes with a novelist's eye for detail, and her unflinching rendering of Nancy's excruciating loss of self is skillfully and tenderly drawn...An invaluable resource." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"With an economy of expression, an eye for detail and a storyteller's knack for dialogue, Gillies charts Nancy's terrible course from doddering to vicious and her own decline into caregiver dementia...An unvarnished cautionary tale." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The key to Gillies' personal strength resides in the numerous literary and philosophical observations she frequently quotes and from which she draws inspiration in this awesome chronicle." --Booklist (starred review)
Praise from Abroad for KEEPER
ANDREA GILLIES is a writer and journalist. Keeper won the 2009 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, the United Kingdom's pre-eminent popular science writing award, and the 2010 Orwell Prize. She lives with her family in St. Andrews, Scotland, and has just completed her first novel.
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Book Description Broadway Books, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB030771912X
Book Description Broadway Books, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11030771912X
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-030771912X