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Publisher's Summary

Elizabeth, a member of the "sandwich generation", people caught in the middle of simultaneously caring for their children and for their aging parents, is the mother of Ava and the daughter of Daddy, and responsible for both. Hers is the story of a woman's struggle to keep her family whole, to raise her child in a house of laughter and love, and to keep her father from hiding the house keys in his slippers.

In this story full of everyday triumphs, first steps, and elderly confusion, Ava, a baby, finds each new picture, each new word, each new song something to learn greedily, joyfully. Daddy is a man in his twilight years for whom time moves slowly and lessons are not learned but quietly, frustratingly forgotten. Elizabeth, a suddenly single mother with a career and a mortgage and a hamper of laundry, finds her world spiraling out of control yet full of beauty. Faced with mounting disasters, she chooses to confront life head on.

©2003 Elizabeth Cohen; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Biography/Memoir, 2005

"Moving yet unsentimental....With splashes of humor and occasional, and understandable, self-pity, Cohen's fluid prose lifts her forceful story to a higher level, making it a tribute to her father and her family." (Publishers Weekly)
"Cohen...captures the irrepressibility of a young child and the poignancy of a man nearing the end of his life in an incredibly touching story that examines aging and family responsibility." (Booklist)

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  • Overall
  • Joanne
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
  • 07-05-06

Had high hopes

This book was fabulous overall; with one exception.
Subject matter, characters, and settings were captivatingly rich and well developed. Author was sensitively accurate in portraying how difficult it can be to incorporate a loved one with this ugly and devistating illness (alzheimers) into the already full life of a caregiver.
My exception to a complete positive recommendation is the ending.
I found this book ended jawdroppingly abruptly; with an almost complete abandonment of all the glorious developments.
I have heard of books discribed as "the author got tired and phoned in the last few chapters" or "deadline arrived and author sent what they had" but I had yet to experience this for myself; UNTIL NOW! When you are deeply involved in supporting a loved one with Alzheimers the last thing a person needs is a novel that the author FORGOT to finish. After 7 hours of devoted listening I was so disappointed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeffrey
  • Highland Park, NJ, United States
  • 11-02-05

Sad but Compelling

A very well written novel about Alzheimer's, parenthood and the stress of family. A little slow at the beginning, but picks up towards the middle. Anyone who has dealt with, directly or indirectly, this horrible illness will appreciate the author's sesitive portrayel of living with her father who has Alheimer's. For those who do not have the experience, it is an important education.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Malte
  • Berlin, Germany
  • 03-06-12

Beutifully written!

I simply loved this audiobook, it was beautifully written, amazing narrator and a great story about how difficult yet an strengthening experience can be to cope with the Alzheimer's disease. I loved the book from the beginning until the end.