Alice LaPlante’s book ‘Turn of Mind’ which drew on her experience from her mother’s condition of Alzheimers was the first fiction book to win the Wellcome Trust Book Prize, awarded for outstanding medical writing . It is this month’s Daily Mail book of the month. I am planning to read it but debating whether to take it as a holiday read next month, or read it now as one review says “Wonderful. Deeply touching and utterly heartbreaking”.
A taster is offered: “At our Alzheimer’s support group today, we talk about what we hate. Hate is a powerful emotion, our young leader says. Ask a dementia patient who she loves, and she draws a blank. Ask her who she hates, and the memories come flooding in.”
How true is that statement with my mother. I have probably mentioned in previous blogs my mother was not the most sentimental or warm person, but once it was clear that dementia had taken a strong grip, all was unleashed. Nothing pleasant was really said, but the relish and the enthusiasm for saying mean things was huge. At the earliest opportunity my mother was there with her knife to firmly stab those she believed needed to be told. This also translated into her physical appearance, with a very sour face and demeanour about her. As always, it is so sad to see, as throughout her life she demonstrated much care and thought to others and to be judged (as
often is the case) as this monster is very cruel.
It would be interesting to read others thoughts on this book.