Recently, I had the pleasure of reading and writing a book review on Marianne Sciucco’s “Blue Hydrangeas.” In short, it is the story of a fictional couple after the wife gets a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, a disease that takes the mind before it takes the life. There are treatments available but no cure.
What is interesting about the book is that it is a fictional work taking on a very serious topic, which is often the best kind of fiction. Marianne obviously has some experience with Alzheimer’s, but makes her characters feel real enough so you don’t suspect they are based on people she knows, which can be limiting.
THE GOOD PART OF THE BOOK REVIEW:
I went through a similar, not identical, experience with a family member and appreciate Marianne’s delicacy and expertise on the subject. How Jack is able to maintain his composure and feelings for the women he loves is truly inspiring and a textbook way of honoring the “in sickness and in health” vow he undoubtedly took decades before. But what I love most about “Blue Hydrangeas” is Jack’s struggle against the inevitable, his near-obsession with hanging on to life as he knows it for just a little more, and finding joy whenever he can.
THE BAD PART OF THE BOOK REVIEW:
The point of view in the book occasionally changes from Jack’s to other family members, which is not bad in itself. I was hoping for a chapter from Sara’s point of view, as she is the one with Alzheimer’s, and an educated guess as to what they are thinking would have been great but didn’t happened.
CORRECTION! There are actually two chapters that come from Sara’s POV: Chapter Six, when Sara is in the hospital, and Chapter Eleven, when she gets lost driving. My apologies to Marianne and admittance there is no “bad part of the book review.”
My Amazon/Goodreads book review is below:
Can you love someone if they’re no longer the same person? That is the question Jack asks himself all the time.
Jack and Sara are about to go through the toughest challenge of their lives when Sara is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Fast forward nine years later, and we find life between them has drastically changed. As Jack struggles to hang onto his old life for just a little longer, the consequences of doing so become more dangerous for the whole family. But no matter how deep she slips, Jack is always able to find a sliver of the woman he loves in Sara.
I never thought I would say this about a book, but I was simultaneously depressed and inspired. I’m only giving it 4 out of 5 because I have no experience on the subject matter to draw upon.
More on the book at GoodReads.
L. Fabry is the author of Ordinance 93, a novel set in a world where having a baby without permission is against the law and the first four people to break it. She also writes about everything from reaction injection molding to low fat recipes while indulging her need for creative outlets including novels and screenplays. Find out more on Twitter.