There is no sugar-coating dementia; I have not done so and I don’t pretend to paint a picture of good times and joy in my debut novel, Requiem for the status quo. But what I have succeeded in doing is to describe real people who seek solutions to their caregiving problems and who find those solutions amongst the counsel of others.
I completely understand that one of my recent reviewers found it a difficult book to read; she admitted that she is in the midst of a similar caregiving struggle with her mother so the subject matter more or less caused her to put the brakes on the completion of the novel. Thankfully, she indicated she would not delete the book from her eReader as she might pursue further reading at another time. I knew from the outset that the subject matter of my novel would be relevant, and it is, but I also knew some readers may require a little separation from their caregiving journey before being ready to read about someone else’s journey.
But this novel is not just for caregivers, it is also for those who endeavor to learn more about what it is like to have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. One such reader said the following:
I have a dear friend whose mom died of Alzheimer’s, and she was her caregiver. So, now I’m dying to call her and say that I understand what she must have gone through and I want her to tell me all of her story! Oh my goodness! It’s so tough!!! Your writing is wonderful! Your story is educational and needful!! – Reader T.
And yet other readers have expressed that they wish they had had access to my novel while they were on their own Alzheimer’s caregiving journey for a family member. While Requiem for the status quo tells a story, it also assures the reader that the author – who herself was a family caregiver – stands in their corner and wants to lessen their load. The author, me, injected humor, hope, and encouragement as survival strategies were introduced in a storytelling, rather than clinical, manner.
All of us current and former caregivers have unfettered access to all the internet has to offer regarding latest treatments (few) and suggested ways in which to handle the new normals that creep up on us by the hour. What many of us lack, however, is a relatable story wherein we can find ourselves. Fortunately, that is changing as is evident in the Bookstore located on the AlzAuthors website, where both extraordinary non-fiction and fiction are offered, and where my novel will be spotlighted come December.
My greatest hope, dear readers, is that my personal caregiving experience, as altered and fictionally depicted in Requiem for the status quo, will reassure and support you as I remain now, and forever more, in your corner. I leave you with a few recently submitted comments/reviews:
In a couple of days, when I stop crying, I’ll write a review for you. I really wish this book had been around when my mother had Alzheimer’s. I would have asked some family members to read it … Wow, didn’t realize all this sorrow was still in me. I know you will help a lot of people with this amazing book. Good job, Irene. – Reader K.
My mother recently died from Alzheimer’s, and I could really relate to everything she (author) wrote about. All her information is very accurate, and I felt like she was on the journey with me. – Reader R.This is such a beautiful, heartfelt, and touching book and story. The author shares so clearly and bravely the trials of dealing with all of the decisions that have to be made in every stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s for each phase your loved one is going through. The unknowns of what your loved one is going through is heartbreaking to watch, but she shows that love can trump these unknowns with laughter, humor and the help of family and friends. No one expects this disease to touch their families, but it does inflict itself onto her father. The love that she shares with her dad, her sister, and eventually her brother who has been in denial shows us that the needs of someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be met with dignity and care. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has dealt with this disease, for anyone who is dealing with it right now, or for anyone who might have to deal with it in the future. Reader L.