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Publisher's Summary

Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country megastar Brad Paisley. But in 2014, Williams-Paisley revealed a tragic secret: Her mother had been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called primary progressive aphasia at the age of 61.

In Where the Light Gets In, Williams-Paisley tells the full story of her mother's illness, from diagnosis through the present day, drawing on her memories of her relationship with the fascinating, complicated, and successful woman who raised her so well. She describes educating herself on her mother's condition, letting go of the shame and secrecy that surrounded it, and finding unexpected humor and grace in a terrible situation. Her book also chronicles the ways in which her family's bond was strengthened by the experience, to becoming an awareness advocate, to accepting the woman her mother has become. It is a heartrending and inspiring reminder of how unbreakable our relationships with our mothers are.

©2016 Kimberly Williams-Paisley (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Wish I had this book sooner

My Mother died in 2013 after a long battle with early onset Alzheimer's. My Dad died the previous year after a GBM brain tumor diagnosis and a 4 month battle. Prior to his death, Dad was Mom's caregiver and so many details about Kim's parents paralleled my parents. After my Dad's death, my sister and I became our Mother's caregivers. Fortunately we had the resources to allow Mom to remain in her home for the year she lived after Dad's death. I spent a great deal of the year "uptight". I wish I had books like this one at the time to slow me down and savor the time with Mom. My Mom was wonderful! She kept her sense of humor, was easygoing, and a joy! Where the Light Gets In reminded me so much of my Mom. The book was for me a reminder of the fact my Mom, Judy was still Judy. I think this book is a valuable tool to teach anyone who finds themselves in the caregiver role to honor the person, their memories (those are still there), and especially their dignity.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Ring The Bells You Still Can Ring

This is a lovely, honest, moving story of a daughter's relationship with the mother she loved and "lost" (even though her mother is still alive) to Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), a form of dementia that first robs an individual of her language and communication skills. I have a professional interest in this topic, having treated several adults (including one well-known actor) with this disorder, but more than that, I was pulled in to Ms. Williams' story on a human level. As Leonard Cohen puts it in the song from which this book takes its title, "There's a crack, a crack in everything"; we have all suffered losses of one kind or another, and even readers who have yet to experience the loss of a loved one will find much of value in this surprisingly insightful and fast-paced memoir. It's almost a how-to book for anyone seeking to find lessons of value or silver linings in the things one cannot change. Highly recommend!

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Dorie
  • Glendale, CA, United States
  • 06-03-16

Just What I Needed Right Now

This was a wonderful book to listen to as I'm dealing with a similar life situation. Kim expressed herself beautifully--there are so many of us out here trying to figure out how to deal with elderly parents with dignity and grace. Sounds like she's doing a good job of it--right down to denying parents the right to drive, lest they kill someone, etc. It's wonderful to have siblings to help share the problem. Thanks for writing this Kim!!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Excellent read!

If you could sum up Where the Light Gets In in three words, what would they be?

Tragic. Inspiring. Educational.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kimberly of course. Her delivery was beautiful, entertaining, and full of life!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I belly laughed, and cried so deeply that I almost has to pull my car over until I could dry my eyes. What a beautiful, but tragic, family story. My hear goes out to all the caregivers, and I feel a deep sadness for Kim's mom.

Any additional comments?

This is an awesome audiobook that I highly recommend!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great story

Kim was very honest and forth coming in her struggle to make sense of what was happening to her and her family. I loved it. I have learned to not take each day for granted and to communicate fully on what needs to happen at the end of this life. Thank you Kim!!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Drawing near

I really enjoyed Kim's reading of her story. She is such a wonderful reader and story teller. I felt as if I was sitting there with her as she recounted what she had learned about herself and her family in the slow loss of her mother to dementia. I was really moved by her stories of finding ways to break through the loss of her mother's mental capacities to reveal a heart that had not forgotten the joys of family, children, laughter and music. There is something for everyone in Kim's story, namely facing the challenge of caring for our love ones as they face the end of life. You will laugh, cry and ponder life with this book.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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What not to do as family of a person with Dementia

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A cautionary tale of what to except as a long distance family member of someone with primary progressive aphasia.<br/>Does not offer solutions/help/viewpoint of a local family member or primary caregiver.

What could Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Michael J. Fox - foreword have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Offered some proactive solutions rather than reactive.

Have you listened to any of Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Book benefits greatly from the voice of the author.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Where the Light Gets In?

This book wouldn't have been published if it wasn't a famous movie star (daughter of 2 journalists), married to a famous country star whose mother worked for the charity of another famous person.

Any additional comments?

Really wanted to like this book and be able to recommend it to people in similar situations but it's not worth it. You'll get the same from AARP articles, internet forums, and talking to your social circles. <br/><br/>Some examples: A doctor that makes a diagnosis is not a bad doctor, alienating/ignoring does not make the problems go away. Do not wait until after car wrecks to talk about driving. Do not wait until the only caregiver has a medical event to get serious about nursing/assisted living. Do not do long distance travel without absorbent liners/briefs. Do not tell vague advance directives to a long distance family member over a short brunch. <br/><br/>Most importantly - Do not wait to enjoy your time with your loved ones. Do not spend it in anger. Dementia is often slow. The author appears to have missed this, spending most of the book in denial or just plain being petulant. Only well after the mother of her childhood was gone did she attempt peace for herself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Captivating!

Excellent book! Beautifully read! Great resource! Kimberly Williams-Paisley gives a poignant look at what it's like to deal with the ambiguous loss of this devastating disease. Her voice adds to the experience of the book! I highly recommend!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Tears and Laughter at every page

Such a gifted storyteller! I highly recommend this book for any family member of a dementia patient. The honesty is so refreshing as you hear the emotion in Kim's voice. Thankful for this book!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

couldn't stop listening

this book was prefect. my maternal grandma has ppa. my mom died in her 50s. we've since had to manage and help my aunt make sinilar decisions as kim and jer siblings do. It's full of honest, cleansing tearful moments. "god wink". I write cards to my grandma and I am sharing with her Kims term because it's perfect!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful