Dr. Alice Howland has always worked with language and is shocked when her linguistic skills betray her. As she begins struggling to find words and getting lost in familiar places, she goes to a neurologist and learns the worst news possibly, she has early onset Alzheimer's. As she begins planning for her lack of future, her family is devastated. Her husband cannot deal and denies the truth for as long as he can, but her children step up, particularly her daughter, Lydia, who moves her life around to be with her mother. As Alice loses herself, she gains love, love for her actress daughter and her grandchildren. Even without her remarkable mind, she is still Alice.
I am tearing up just writing this review, but this is a scary and mind-blowing read. Mental illness is never treated as well as physical diseases and those who suffer from them are ostracized by others, even well meaning others. Alice mentions that if she had cancer, she would have a support group, but since she has Alzheimer's, people scatter. I think it makes us all rethink how we treat those with mental illness and that there are worse things than dying. Living is hard, particularly with a diagnosis like Alice's, but underneath it all, she is still the mother her children love and she can still feel love. This is a powerful, but extremely challenging read and it will break your heart. 5 cups of cocoa and a book every one should read!