Summary: You just can’t plan for this kind of thing.
Diane Tate certainly hasn’t. She never expected to slowly lose her talented husband to the debilitating effects of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As a respected family court judge, she’s spent her life making tough calls, but when her sixty-eight-year-old husband’s health worsens and Diane is forced to move him into an assisted living facility, it seems her world is spinning out of control.
As Gregory’s memory wavers and fades, Diane and her children must reexamine their connection to the man he once was—and learn to love the man he has become. For Diane’ daughter Lauren, it means honoring her father by following in his footsteps as a successful architect. For her son Sean, it means finding a way to repair the strained relationship with his father before it’s too late. Supporting her children in a changing landscape, Diane remains resolute in her goal to keep her family together—until her husband finds love with another resident of the facility. Suddenly faced with an uncertain future, Diane must choose a new path—and discover her own capacity for love.
Review: I don't imagine that anyone starts out their marriage thinking about the days when they'll have to take care of their partner or turn care of that person over to someone else. As the wife of a prominent architect, and no shrinking violet herself, Diane faces the tough decision to put her husband, Gregory, in an assisted living facility when Alzheimer's takes control of him. Shown through Marita Golden's caring attention to characters and words, it's not an easy decision for her and, at times, she questions if it was the right one.
Golden tackles the topic of Alzheimer's and how it affects families from the points of view of both partner and children. Overachieving daughter Lauren is a daddy's girl and, as such, has a closer relationship to her father. Following in his footsteps and joining his architectural firm allows her to stay in close proximity to him. It also allows her to cover up for his odd behavior and forgetfulness, while staying in denial about his illness. Her brother, Sean, has always believed himself to be a disappointment to his parents, but especially his father. And now that his father no longer recognizes him, he believes that he's lost the chance to make him proud.
I was so caught up in these characters and their emotions. Diane is a strong and brave woman. Watching a shell of a man you've built a life with slip into the arms of another woman, knowing that he's not the Gregory you once knew, has to be difficult. Making the decision to find a piece of happiness yourself and finding a man patient enough to wait for you to get to that place? Amazing.
This is such a great read. I can't praise Marita Golden enough for taking the time to explore the realities that come with caring for loved ones and how it affects everyone around them. It's been a minute since she's published anything but this was well worth the wait.
Published: March 2017
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher; opinions are my own.