I Will Never Forget

Title: I Will Never Forget: A Daughter's Story of Her Mother's Arduous and Humorous Journey Through Dementia
Author: Elaine C Pereira
274 pages, published May 2012
Genre: Memoir

Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

I rarely read and review memoirs, but I chose to read and review this book  after the author contacted me for a review because of the subject matter. I personally related to the topic, and felt it an appropriate book for me to review. In 2013, my father passed away after a long battle with vascular dementia. He was only 64.

Here's the synopsis from GoodReads about this book:

It is extremely difficult to watch a loved one decline as dementia ravages his or her mind, robbing him or her of memory, thinking abilities, and judgment. In her touching memoir, I Will Never Forget, Elaine C. Pereira shares the sometimes heartbreaking and occasionally humorous story of her mother's journey through dementia, as seen through the eyes of her little girl.

Pereira begins by offering entertaining glimpses into her own childhood and feisty teenage years. Through it all, Pereira shares how her mom's unconditional love and creative parenting style helped mold an opinionated young woman into a resourceful adult who eventually would move mountains on her mother's behalf. As Betty Ward slowly begins to wander down the dark and narrow corridors of Alzheimer's, Pereira details her mother's amazing ability to mask the truth until something as innocuous as a drapery rod suddenly launches a waterfall of events. As their roles shift and a new paradigm forms, Pereira transforms into a caregiver who blindly navigates dementia's unpredictable haze while her mother orchestrates Houdini-like disappearances and surprisingly rallies to take charge of her own destiny.

I Will Never Forget shares a powerful, emotional story that can help people affected by dementia take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style in this book. She moved between time periods effortlessly and in a way that added to the story and helped her readers to understand the situation.  She paints a clear, real life picture of daily struggles of dementia from a family member's perspective. I appreciated that the book clearly illustrated the ups and downs, the good days and the bad, that are a reality with individuals with dementia. I appreciated her honesty, and reading the book felt like we were sitting at the table, talking over cups of coffee.

I feel like this book would be beneficial for so many people to read: those (like me) who've lost a loved one to dementia, those struggling with caring for a family member with dementia, or even caregivers working with patients who have dementia. What I gained from this book was the same message on opposite sides of the coin--those caring for loved ones with dementia are not alone, and on the other hand, everyone's journey and experience with dementia is different. My dad's journey was drastically different, yet I still recognized some similarities  between our two experiences. I commend Elaine for having the courage to write this book, and hope others read this book in an effort to spread awareness about dementia and dementia related diseases.

Overall rating for "I Will Never Forget": A-

Happy Reading!