Midwest Book Review of Brought To Our Senses
Elizabeth and her family knew, long before it happened, that death was on its way for mother Janice. Everybody knew: arrangements had long been made. What she couldn’t have predicted was how her mother’s ordeal would change the whole family; and that is the focus of Brought to Our Senses, a novel about life, death, caregiving, and Alzheimer’s.
Funerals should offer fresh starts as well as endings; but in this case, the start stems from the volatility of an Alzheimer’s patient during the last part of her life, and with a caregiver daughter forced to come to terms with siblings over her efforts.
While numerous novels have been written about Alzheimer’s from different perspectives (patient, caregiver, and family), hardly any stories so deftly capture the raging changes in personality that can affect every decision and bond, making Brought to Our Senses a tense, gripping, and eye-opening addition to existing fiction on families facing dementia.
An aging parent’s ongoing and irresolvable health crisis strains already-damaged sibling relationships, and as their personalities, belief systems, choices, and values clash over the stressful situation, so each family member is tasked with finding a way to heal and adapt.
Few other books hold such powerful messages that embrace the struggles of an entire family. Many offer singular viewpoints and experiences. The power of Brought to Our Senses lies in its ability to depict both the full progression of Alzheimer’s and the choices of loved ones who have to adjust to each new stage.
From handling other health issues (including how dental work can be performed on a confused, frightened patient) to fears that the family legacy of dementia will continue to permeate the family tree, Brought to Our Senses is one of the most true-to-life, gripping accounts on the complexities of interconnected family relationships that has appeared in recent years, and should be on the reading lists of any who would forego the dispassionate approaches of nonfiction for an all-embracing emotional look at Alzheimer’s.
Very highly recommended as a striking jewel that is a glowing standout from the growing stack of dementia fiction sagas.
D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review