Rowan. Coleman. I do love her books-the easily understandable books, dealing with intense issues such as Cystic Fibrosis. They’re emotionally tense, with utterly relateable characters. For any bookworm, what more could you possibly want?
Claire, the mother in the story, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, at an incredibly young age: maybe forty? And in the prime of her life: an English teacher to a local secondary, dressed in red, with a young family. It’s a shock, needless to say. And that is where the story truly takes flight.
Gran moves in.
The elder daughter comes home.
Claire slowly falters, little by little, every day.
What I found to be most endearing is how Claire, despite this horrible condition, is a Mother, despite everything. She attempts to care for her elder daughter, on a shock revelation. She writes out memories, whilst she still has them, for the family. She plays with her toddler still. It made me want to cry, knowing what’s going to happen eventually.
The character of the grandmother really annoyed me, however; she’s angry at her daughter, somebody now virtually unable to defend herself. Just a little tolerance would have worked well for the relationship. She also encaged Claire, with a Toddler’s gate. Surely that’s going to be a trigger, for something to overcome? They could have had further help from medical professionals, instead of being angry. Stupidly, almost, that really upset me.
And then the ending. Oh, the ending…
I loved that best of all.
And I think you should all read it.