Losing My marbles
JOHN MORROW’S PICK OF THE WEEK
LOSING MY MARBLES
The basis of this story is to raise awareness of the debilitating and heartbreaking condition known as Alzheimer’s. This disease not only destroys the mind of the person diagnosed, it stretches relationships, families and friends to the very limit of human endurance.
We meet Susan in July 2000 as she describes the moment she knew she was attracted to a married colleague. James owned a string of gift shops and Susan managed one of them. It was not long before their twice-weekly catch-ups became something more intimate over a glass of wine or two. It was also not long before their affair became full blown and James’s wife blew the lid.
Our next story is told through the eyes of Susan’s mother, Joan, and it’s now December 2000. She is quite worried about her daughter and thinks she’s beginning menopause as she is starting to forget names and walks around with what she describes as a ‘pudding head’.
Susan herself couldn’t explain why she forgot to order the turkey for Christmas and why those piles of Christmas cards just didn’t get sent. She also couldn’t find Nick’s Christmas present even though she was positive it was somewhere around.
It’s January 2001 when we first hear Nick’s story. He’s noticed some changes in Susan, not least the fact that he suspects her of having an affair.
We then follow stories from the family as they realise that Susan is sinking more and more into some type of serious illness. Although the story is a fictional one, Marian Penman has used it to tell us all that it is much more common nowadays to find people under 60 years of age developing Alzheimer’s.
The diagnosis can be patchy, the health care and support can sometimes be adhoc and respite care is a buried treasure. This is a moving story, and although fictional, I believe Marian Penman has beautifully told a story about an illness that can strike at any time to any family you know, maybe even yours.
“This is a fictional story about one woman’s slow descent into Alzheimer’s. It also tells of the effect that this illness has on everyone who comes into close contact with sufferers of this disease – beautifully told and sensitively written, this author has written a real winner.”
“A book is a private companion”
The book, ‘Losing My Marbles’ was published in February 2011 by Sid Harta Publishers Pty Ltd and can be obtained through the distributors at http://dennisjones.com.au or www.amazon.com . The ISBN is 1-921829-71-0 and the RRP is AU$24-95 .