Nancy: A story of abuse, aphasia, Alzheimer’s, and grace, by Cathy L. Mason

23 Apr
nancy cathy l mason

Four of Five stars

This was a really fast read, I finished it in just a couple hours.
It does not give a lot of information about aphasia or Alzheimer’s, it is just one woman’s very personal experience as a caregiver to her aging mother.

She begins with her mother’s life as a baby and child actress. The first chapter seemed a little too personal, as she listed achievements of her mother that no one but someone close would really care about. But once she gets to her parents’ marriage you start getting really drawn into the story. (This is such a short and fast read you are there in no time)

It also lists some of the problems that a caregiver who is a relative can run against: fighting relatives, people taking advantage of their loved one, family fights over money and property and control, etc. Much of her story was so familiar it could have been written by a friend of mine.

Some of it also didn’t always ring quite true, and as we’re only hearing the author’s side of things (something she is very careful to emphasize) we don’t know if we’re hearing the whole truth or a partial truth. But in the end, who cared for the mother was not important, the story was how and why and in what ways the mother needed care.

I think it’s a learning experience for the reader, and a cathartic writing experience for the author.

Members of the LDS church may not be fans, as the author really slams the Mormon religion harder than I’ve seen anywhere before, even in books specifically meant to slam the church. It took me by surprise the extent that she just suddenly and completely rips it to shreds with no warning in previous chapters. And it’s not that I don’t think she’s right, but there is no middle ground on the subject in this book.

In the end it was a touching, sad, emotional story. I took one star off only because it was so totally and completely one sided, and very black and white in many ways. And even though she admits this and is open about it, it can be offputting and suspicious to a reader who doesn’t know the people (or the religion) involved. It’s a wonderful personal story, from one woman’s perspective, however be aware that this story does not give a lot of information about the diseases other than her mother’s experience.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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