on March 31, 2015
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From the internationally bestselling author of The Accidental Mother, Rowan Coleman, an uplifting and incredibly moving novel in the spirit of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, about mothers, daughters, and one woman’s struggle to maintain her identity for the people she loves.
The name of your first-born. The face of your lover. Your age. Your address…
What would happen if your memory of these began to fade?
Is it possible to rebuild your life? Raise a family? Fall in love again?
When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. In her mid-40s, Claire is scared and increasingly confused by the world around her, struggling to hold onto her identity as thoughts of her mother, her daughters, and her husband grow fuzzier every day. Fearing what will happen if those memories fade altogether, her family’s gift of a red sketchpad is her most treasured possession. As they fill it with scenes from a joyous life lived together, Claire again experiences the ecstatic highs and terrible lows of a life well lived: full of heartbreak and love, tears and laughter.
The Day We Met is a mother’s worst nightmare…knowing you are suffering from Alzheimer’s and will soon forget the life, the family and love you know to a disease that will take away your memories, thinking and own ability to take care of yourself.
The Day We Met is the heartbreaking and painful story of Claire and her family as they journey with Claire and this very progressive disease.
What I enjoyed about this book that was very different for me was experiencing the various points of view that this story was told in – from Claire herself and then her family members – Greg her husband, Caitlyn her oldest daughter and Ruth her mother, giving us a well rounded look at what each experienced making each memory, each interaction so heartfelt and real.
As Claire’s disease progresses and begins to affect her daily life, the reader is part of the making of the Memory Book, a book that each family member writes in to help Claire remember their lives together – the happy, the sad and treasured moments of a loving family.
I will say that what touched me the most about this story was the feelings of sadness I felt for Greg her husband and her daughters Caitlyn and Esther. I wanted to jump through my kindle and hug them as they slowly watched the woman they love disappear and forget.
Though emotional at some points of the story..I just wanted more. More connection to the story and characters, more connection to Claire herself. I wished that the emotions I felt towards the end of the book were more consistent throughout so that the beginning held my attention as much as the end did. Though I loved the various points of view, I wanted to hear more from Claire herself and then maybe I would have felt more of a connection to her and her plight.
Though I loved the memory book and its intentions, I did find myself sometimes skimming those chapters as I wanted to read more about the present day rather than reliving the past.
Overall this was my first read from this author and I would give her a try again. This book was a good intro to her writing as I thought The Day We Met was well written…again it just fell a little short for me.