Judging the Cover: I love the simplicity of this cover. The butterfly is a significant part of the story.
The Plot: The story is about Alice Howland, who, at the age of 50, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The reader follows Alice as she deals with this devastating news and witnesses how this disease affects a person.
My thoughts: This book was picked for my book club and I probably would have never read it otherwise because of the plot. I worked for 3 years in an Alzheimer’s Unit at a nursing home as an activities’ assistant and I saw firsthand how sad this disease is. I saw a 100 year old woman ask where her grandma was, I still smile when I think about a woman who very seldom spoke but would often sing old hymns, and I witnessed many people lose their battle with this disease and go to their final resting place. All that being said, I was very surprised by this book, as it shows what happens in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease (the people I worked with were in the late stages). I had no idea about early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, I always associated it with the elderly. But, as I found out, the signs can present themselves to someone in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. I was glad that I read this book despite my initial reluctance, it was very eye opening. This is definitely a book that will cause tears and that will be thought about long after the last sentence is read.
The Good: The writing style of this book was very easy to read, which was a relief to me, as it was written by a Harvard trained neuroscientist. This book spreads awareness of this horrible disease and recognizes the importance of finding a cure. It also reminds us that people with Alzheimer’s disease are still people, that they still have opinions and feelings and that they still deserve respect. I also liked that the book focused on Alice’s husband and children and how the disease affected them.
The Not So Good: My only wish was that the book would have been written in first person instead of third person, or a dual narrative between first and third. I think it may have been more powerful to have Alice narrate the story.
My Rating: I gave this book 5/5 stars, it was an amazing read and I highly recommend it to everyone.