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Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia
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Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  157 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
From the author of the much-loved memoir Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved comes an engaging and inspiring account of a daughter who must face her mother’s premature decline.
In Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words, Kate Whouley strips away the romantic veneer of mother-daughter love to bare the toothed and tough reality of caring for a parent who is slowly losing
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Vicky Titcomb
Jun 24, 2011 Vicky Titcomb rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! It is so very honest and so very well written. It's poignant and real right down to the toenails. Kate takes us down the journey of her mother's Alzheimers disease with incredible insight about herself, her mother and their relationship, before and after the illness. She shares the frustrations of moving from the role of daughter to caregiver, but tells the story with great empathy, honesty and even at times with a wonderful sense of humor. I would highly recommend this boo ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Lorri rated it it was amazing
Although most of the reviews here present Remembering the Music as being about taking care of a loved one who has Alzheimer's Disease, to me this riveting memoir was more about the complicated dynamics of the Mother-Daughter relationship. I haven't had any direct experience caring for a parent with dementia, yet I related completely to the shifting sands atop a firm foundation that characterize the author's relationship with her mother. I found it to be ultimately uplifting. This memoir is heart ...more
Sep 15, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
I received this book thru the Goodreads Giveaway program. I put it aside for a bit, because I knew it would be a difficult read for me. Kate Whouley has lived my life! So much of her journey is exactly the same as mine. Reading it from her point of view was not only validating and uplifting, it was so, so true to real life.

When I learned my own mother had dimentia, I changed my life around to take care of her. My Irish, unemotional, heavy-drinking mother and I had never been good friends. But I
Aug 06, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found reading Whouley's previous on book, about grafting the cottage she bought in another town onto her own house, gave some background, but this book can stand alone; her mom does not feature much in it, and her symptoms hadn't appeared then.
What to expect from "Music"? It's really a memoir of Whouley's life, with a focus on her relationship with her mother, rather than a strict focus on the disease itself. By the end of the book, her mother is still functioning ok, if not great, mentally,
Ash Chamberlain
Nov 07, 2011 Ash Chamberlain rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-giveaways
I received "Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words: Travels with Mom in the Land of Dementia" by Kate Whouley from a giveaway. Before even touching this book I could tell by the title and cover, which is covered in photos of a mother and her young child, that this would be an emotional read, and i was right. The book outlines a few years in the life of Kate and her Fiery, Witty, and Intelligent mother. Kate and her mother have always had a complex relationship, made even more ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Kate Whouley has a gift for finding the 'good' in anything. Not that she doesn't also see the 'bad'. In dealing with her mother's descent into Alzheimer's, she lets you know all the sad things she has to contend with as an only child. Luckily, she has true friends & other family support. She learns to know the person her mother becomes & in so doing, learns more about herself. And yes, you cry at the end.....
Oct 22, 2012 Daphne added it
A moving account of a single daughter's complex relationship with her mother--before and after her mother succumbs to Alzheimer's disease. The book is big-hearted and honest--and often as humorous as it is sad. It's a chronicle of small-town life, of being an avocational musician, of coming to grips with events that are more powerful than we are. A compelling read.
Jun 19, 2016 Shirley rated it it was amazing
I guess I would call myself a long-distance care-giver. My dear friend who exhibits signs of dementia has been moved to live near her daughter who lives several states away. My friend and I visit several times a week over the phone.

Kate Whouley's book helped me comprehend not only what my friend is experiencing but also why her daughter responds to her sometimes in ways I can't understand. I was upset when my friend was reprimanded by her daughter for not being able to remember her grandchildre
Jul 17, 2012 S.C. rated it liked it
Memoirs about terminal disease are hard to read. I think readers are drawn to them because they want to know if they have what it takes to cope with such difficult circumstances. I also think they read them in the hopes that someone who has gone through it can serve as a good example of what to do and what not to do. And while "Remembering The Music, Forgetting The Words" tells an important story of such a struggle, it fails to be a bigger success in its genre due to lack of depth and a writing ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Jacki rated it really liked it
Grab your tissues and favorite James Galway music and prepare to laugh and cry through Kate Whouley's (Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved) narrative of the challenges and rewards inherent in caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease, as well as the power of music to heal our souls.

Whouley's story begins with the release of her first book, which her mother declares an acceptable substitute for grandchildren. An ominous note underscores the joy as Whouley describes their blissful ignorance in the
Nov 25, 2012 M rated it it was amazing
This book is as excellent as I had hoped it would be. It reads like a good story and you feel like you are sitting right there with Kate hearing her tell the story. She deals with the difficult challenges of having a mother with early stage dementia not with as a sad story, but with laughter, grace, and funny moments as well as hard times. The chapters are a just right length and I can't put it down. I will sad when I finish it.
Sep 12, 2016 Marti rated it liked it
My mother is in middle stages of AD. I read this book in hopes of being encouraged. In found many similarities on our paths and comforting thoughts. Perhaps because of where we are in the disease process, I also experienced horror , like I was watching a train accident.
I felt somewhat betrayed at the ending which I will not spoil here, and I also found a sense of peace.
Mar 11, 2011 Brian rated it really liked it
I was sent a galley to review and I am most grateful! What a compassionate, sympathetic, yet utterly honest look at living with, and losing a loved one to this wasting disease. For anyone who has an aging parent, this candid memoir will help soften the reality, yet steel you/us/me for the road ahead.
Nov 03, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Really appreciated the practical information about dementia and how the author learned to cope with her mother's diminishing mental capacity. Would definitely recommend to anyone with a family member or close friend living with any form of dementia.
Oct 21, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Enjoyed isn't the right word for my experience with this work; however, despite the understandably depressing content, the author was able to keep me fully engaged throughout. Recommended for anybody who has lost a loved one to any form of dementia.
Dec 20, 2011 Yak rated it really liked it
Nicely done story of a woman traveling down the Alzheimer's path with her mother. I could have done with less of her pseudo-theology, but the depiction of her mother's decline and the arc of her story rings very true.
Mar 04, 2013 Arline rated it liked it
As I work with patients with dementia everyday, I found this book to be a good story but not very informative. Might be an excellent read for someone who is unfamiliar or has a parent going through the beginning stages.
May 15, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memoirs about Alzheimer's are never easy to read, but I enjoyed Whouley's writing style and could relate to very much of what she wrote. I basically cried through the last third of the book, but don't take that as a reason not to read it.
Oct 02, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
picked this up at the library on a whim and then discovered it was already on my list of things to read; how ironic; a touching story and elicited many of my own intensely sad feelings about my mom
Nancy Peske
Mar 20, 2013 Nancy Peske rated it really liked it
An only child's memoir of caretaking for her mother who was developing dementia. It's emotionally honest and does a great job portraying the complexity of her relationship.
Jan 26, 2014 Margaret rated it liked it
It appears to be a fairly realistic, although gentle account about discovering her Mother's dementia and the difficulty of moving her into a care facility
Mar 21, 2012 Julia rated it it was amazing
BEAUTIFUL story of a daughter's journey with her mother. Kate Whouley made such a horrible thing as Alzheimer's in to a great read.
Marcella Curry
Nov 14, 2011 Marcella Curry rated it really liked it
Felt I was sitting with Whouley and hearing her story over a cup of tea. She is funny, honest, and insightful.
Aug 02, 2014 Lineke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A moving account of a single daughters care of her Mom's Alzheimers and cancer while coming to terms with feelings that her Mom had not provided her with guidance and care growing up.
Debbie Stone
Feb 06, 2013 Debbie Stone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A very well written memoir about a difficult time in a person's life. I appreciated the author's honesty about her relationship with her mother.
It was a sad and happy book--all in one.
Sharon Hollingsworth
Sep 18, 2011 Sharon Hollingsworth rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and poignant story of a daughter's journey with her mother through the frightening life changes caused by Alzheimer's.
Sep 23, 2011 Naomi rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Very sad, but also wonderful. Whouley takes this difficult journey and shares it, a gift, and a reminder to all of us for compassion, as we do not know the struggles each of us endures.
Sophie Slezak
Jan 15, 2012 Sophie Slezak rated it it was amazing
If you have a parent with Alzheimer's, this is a must read. Whouley writes in simple terms, but realistically portays the trials of patient and caretaker.
Jan 26, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
This is the 9th book I've read out of 50 I'm hoping to read this year. Funny, I've just realized that so far all the books I've read this year were written by women.
Aug 02, 2011 Faithann rated it really liked it
A very touching book that will hit home to many people. It really makes one wonder what they would do if they were in that same situation. The book was well written and well worth reading.
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Kate Whouley (hoo'-lee, rhymes with truly) lives and writes on Cape Cod, in the home that inspired her to write Cottage for Sale, Must Be Moved. A Book Sense Book of-the-Year nominee in the nonfiction category, Cottage for Sale received kudos from booksellers and reviewers, and is a popular selection for reading groups.

Kate’s second memoir, Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words, is written
More about Kate Whouley...

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