Category Archives: Book Review

Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her AgainWhere the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading Where the Light Gets In and recommend the book. I think I wanted to see if a celebrity might somehow have a different experience with dementia than the average person. And largely the pain and struggle is the same, regardless of status. Dementia is cruel and difficult for all. My favorite part of this memoir was when the author rid herself of selfish expectations and learned to connect with her mother in the moment of what was left to share. It’s an “a-ha” moment that I finally reached as well, and what I hope others will discover too as they struggle through a loved one’s journey through dementia. Kudos to Williams-Paisley for showing the reality of this disease and not sugar coating the difficulties.

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The NightingaleThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Nightingale was an enjoyable read. It was fascinating to relive WWII from the perspective of two French sisters. I liked the conclusion and how I wasn’t sure what happened and which sister was left until the very end. A lovely, emotional story and good reminder that war is hell. Hopefully history has taught its lesson.
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Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story. It was easy to read and shared all the main characters from a first person perspective, making it clear where they were coming from and why they behaved the way they did. Not that it made them all likable, because some were just so hateful and deplorable. Picoult was brave to tackle the divisive topic of racism head on. With one daughter in nursing school and another considering law school, I’ve recommended they both read this book. This novel shows we all could benefit by practicing more acceptance and love. What a wonderful takeaway!

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Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler

Read the Springfield Scene Magazine book review

Brought To Our Senses book review in Springfield Scene Magazine

Brought To Our Senses Book Review in Springfield Scene MagazineThanks to Springfield Scene Magazine and reviewer Robyn A. Bouillon for the fantastic review of Brought To Our Senses in the November/December 2016 issue! Check the book review out right here and let me know what you think! Does this synopsis and review make you want to dive right in to read this family saga novel?

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Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview December 1, 2016

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview on Family Saga Novel Brought To Our Senses

Alzheimer's Speaks Radio interview with Lori La BeyHeads up so you can tune in and listen to my interview with the fantastic Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks about my new dementia fiction saga Brought To Our Senses. You can hear our interview for the first time on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 1 pm CST, or you can listen anytime afterwards right here. Lori and her panel have great perspectives on the topics of the novel and bring up some really good points. Let me know what you think about our discussion! Continue reading

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Nest, a quick and entertaining read. I think it portrayed a dysfunctional family accurately. Some people never change and not everyone gets their happy ending. That’s life!

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The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

The Things We KeepThe Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed reading this one and loved that Anna and Luke lived and loved, even through cognitive impairments and nursing home life. This novel shows living with dementia instead of just wasting away from it, which is such a positive message to share!

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Emma by Jane Austen: did Mr. Woodhouse have dementia?

Emma by Jane Austen got pushed to the top of my reading list after coming across “Jane Austen’s Guide to Alzheimer’s” by Carol J. Adams.  I was intrigued by this editorial suggesting Emma’s father suffered from dementia. Since I adore Jane Austen and have read several of her other novels, I decided it was time to conquer Emma and see for myself if Mr. Woodhouse appeared to suffer from a cognitive impairment.

Emma by Jane Austen book reviewThe gist of the story is that Emma derives great pleasure acting as a matchmaker for other couples. She claims she’ll never marry herself because of her duty to care for her ailing father. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her father and doesn’t seem upset about her bleak prospects. As it turns out, she is revealed to be a poor judge of character who doesn’t understand the romantic inclinations of others, or her own heart for that matter. Harriet gets the short end of the stick too many times thanks to Emma’s meddling.

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Just finished reading a good memoir

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I enjoyed reading this writer’s memoir and learning more about the man, the methods of his craft, and what writing means to him. This book is funny, engaging, and Stephen King sums things up well at the end: Continue reading

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls: book review

I recently finished reading the novel The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls.

Because I’m a big fan of her memoir The Glass Castle, I thought it was time to read another one of her books. I enjoyed The Silver Star and the fresh perspective offered by its twelve-year-old protagonist Bean. She and her older sister Liz are left to fend for themselves thanks to their selfish mother Charlotte, whose only concerns seem to be her lack of a singing career and herself.

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls book reviewI chuckled many times at the juvenile logic and rash actions of feisty Bean, like when she decides how to handle her biggest adversary—the big baddie Maddox—by killing him. When she realizes the error of her judgment, she decides to slash his tires instead. Sounds just like how an adolescent girl would think.

Time and again the two sisters face difficulties and conflict while their mother is nowhere to be found, only to have her show up . . . too little, too late. Thank goodness for Uncle Tinsley, who takes his nieces in and helps them out after their mother goes missing in action. Tinsley really is the hero to Bean and Liz, and I would have liked for him to be a bigger part of the story. He remained a mystery in many ways: his own life, his relationship with his sister Charlotte, and his feelings for and interactions with his sister’s daughters.

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