The book cover with that beautiful pic of the author with her mother-in-law told me this was going to be a special book and I was right!
Book Title: The Stages of Grace: Life and Love in the Face of Alzheimer's by Connie Ruben
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 149 pages
Genre: Memoir, drama
Release date: July 2015
Tour dates: Nov 21 to Dec 9, 2016
Content Rating: PG (There are a couple of swear words such as "asshole" but no F words)
This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's disease what I have experienced as Grace' caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer's disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.
Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Amazon.ca
Two years ago I was working in a community center as a Special care Counsellor, creating programs and activities for a Day Program for seniors with Alzheimer's disease. I did that for 4 years and loved my interaction with these seniors who taught me so much about compassion and humour. When I came across The Stages of Grace, I just knew I wanted to read it. The book cover with that beautiful pic of the author with her mother-in-law told me this was going to be a special book and I was right!
Even though Alzheimer's is one of the most difficult diseases both for the patient and the immediate family, and the author is honest and forthright about all the different emotions, fears and mistakes she made as she struggled to understand and deal with this disease, the book is beautiful and inspiring. It is a memoir about how Connie Ruben became the caregiver to her close friend and mother-in-law Grace. Through flashbacks, reflections and anecdotes of events and incidents, Connie brings to life her heartwarming friendship with a woman who she immediately loved from the moment she met her. Grace would become the mother Connie needed.
Reading this book was easy and enjoyable because it flowed well and I quickly became invested in Connie's recounting of her story. As someone familiar with the behaviours and symptoms associated with Alzheimer's I can attest that this book will be comforting for someone dealing with a parent or friend who has this illness. Connie, through examples of what she experienced with Grace, brings out with creative narrative how she dealt with the very difficult moments and situations and the lessons she learned.
I found so many gems of wisdom in this book. With intelligence and grace, Connie reflects on hindsight, insight, adaptability, negotiation, fallibility, acceptance and finally learning to live in the moment. It was truly a satisfying read.
In essence, this memoir is a tribute to Connie's love for her friend Grace. It is a touching account, heartbreaking at moments, delightful, sad, funny and faith-strengthening in the power of love. I think every person with ageing parents should read this book. Highly recommended!
Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not told how to rate or review this product.
To read more reviews, please visit Connie Ruben's page on iRead Book Tours.
Connie Ruben is an entrepreneur with well developed management skills. She has run several large companies, and prides herself on empowering others to work to their full potential. Connie also has an intimate knowledge of the challenges and joys of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, as her mother-in-law Grace was diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in 2003. While Connie still struggles to balance her work life and home life, her understanding of this disease has made it easier for her to negotiate the demands of being a caregiver, as well as a wife, mother, and employer. She has written this book in order to share the insights she has gained as Grace’s primary caregiver and friend. Most importantly, Connie wants this book to assure others that caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be enjoyable, life-affirming, and emotionally significant.
Connect with the author: Website