Saturday, 15 February 2014

Books Read: Rowan Coleman - The Memory Book

The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address...

What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?

Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?

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 on to the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...?

Amazon links: Kindle or Hardback

Imagine going out for a walk but a few minutes later you cannot remember where you are or where you were going, theses are just a couple of the scenarios that are handled with such sensitivity and beautiful writing by Rowan Coleman in The Memory Book.

Claire is a young woman who should have everything to live for, she's got a job she loves, has recently married the man of your dreams and has two beautiful daughters, university student Caitlin and three year-old Esther.  But life is no fairytale for Claire as she's recently been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers and she knows all to well what her future holds having seen how this devastating disease took a hold of her own father.

But this is not just Claire's story, we also get to explore the effects this horrible disease plays on the whole family, her mother, daughter Caitlin and husband Greg.  It's through their eyes that I found myself welling up many times whilst reading as it was hard to read how helpless they all felt knowing there was nothing they could do to reverse what was happening to the woman they all loved.

The introduction of the memory book for them all to write down their precious memories of special times in their lives was simply inspirational.  One of my biggest fears in life is to forget special moments in my life, especially not being able to remember my own mum who was sadly taken from us far too young, so this has actually made me think about doing some sort of memory book of my own to her so that I have something to look at when I'm older and a bit forgetful.

The Memory Book blew me away, there is simply no other way to describe the way I felt whilst reading this heartwarming story.  But if you're worrying that it's all doom and gloom, fear not as there's plenty of uplifting moments throughout to lighten the mood.   Although we're only in February I think this is going to be a hard book to beat for me this year.

I'd like to thank Ebury Press for sending me a proof copy of this book to review.  

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