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A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer's and Love

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  34 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"A Song at Twilight: Of Alzheimer's and Love" is a feature-length memoir by acclaimed Minnesota poet Nancy Paddock. The book tells the story of her parents' descent into the netherworld of Alzheimer's, and the challenges and choices for care that she and her sisters faced while confronting this most baffling and tragic of diseases, now afflicting millions of people and the ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Blueroad Press
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Mar 05, 2012 Beryl rated it really liked it
Don’t let the first two chapters of this moving and glaringly honest memoir discourage you. Paddock really hits her stride as she takes the reader into the heart of her journal while coping with the disintegration of her parents’ lives. Each page becomes a treasure as beautifully written as the story they tell is powerful.
Dec 27, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
What keeps this book from being unremittingly sad are the lovely family memories and times preserved within. Especially beautiful is the section titled "The Old Smoothiess" p.168-170 and the photo that comes later of the same title.
Aug 20, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it
My grandmother has alzheimer's and my mom and I have the opportunity to meet this author whose life was changed by her own mother's alzheimer's.
Jul 02, 2013 Jean rated it really liked it
I'm on another memoir kick. The author worked with the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council when we lived in Ivanhoe, so I am familiar with the work of Nancy and her husband, Joe. I expected her writing to be sensitive and to convey a poetic sense, even when writen in prose. All was true. The only reason I kept this to 4 instead of 5 stars is that I felt this was the story of her parents and their experience with Alzheimers; I didn't feel as much the universality of experience that would earn five s ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Bernadette rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written but gut-wrenching reflection on family life, dealing with parents' suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Nancy Paddock wisely starts with the happy times and her parents' deep love for each other. These memories and family traditions sustain her and her two sisters as they try to find the right care through all the stages of the disease during the 1990s.

Even though more is known on the subject now, Paddock's book is helpful not only for it's basic information and explanation
Jul 12, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an awesome look into what it woul be like to deal with your parents aging and having to make decisions for them. I laughed and I bawled.
Jill Kalz
Sep 10, 2012 Jill Kalz rated it really liked it
Heartbreakingly beautiful. Filled with intense, honest love and an equal measure of pain. I had to stop a number of times while reading, put the book aside, not because it was unreadable, but because I needed/wanted to sit with the words and allow myself to really feel them, appreciate them, even (or maybe especially) the most agonizing passages. The book does so many things well, including throwing light on how terribly tangled the decisions surrounding the care of one's aging parents can be. S ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Somewhere the review of this book says something about it being a love story, a mystery, a "page turner," a biography etc. It was all those things. Even though the reader knows how this is going to turn out, you have to keep reading. The story took place at least a decade ago or more. It made me wonder if we have learned more about those with Alzheimers. I hope so. I kept thinking why are her daughters doing some of what they did? Maybe they just didn't know. Or, maybe I would have done similar ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Kyrie rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
It was a hard book to read at this point. The love story between Ralph and Lois was sweet. Other parts - well, I'm glad the sisters managed to talk to each other and work through things.
Yet, while Ralph and Lois had forgotten so much, they talked, even if it didn't always make sense. They looked at things. I had to struggle past personal frustration, wishing the dementia victim I know would do the same. I don't think I'm a very good judge of this book's content as a result.
Jul 10, 2012 Lizzy rated it really liked it
As i work with seniors with all forms of dementia, I found it interesting to read about other people's experiences. Also having taken care of a mother-in-law at home for almost a year gives me the benefit of an added insight. Nancy has captured the struggles and challenges perfectly. She has put into words exactly what is so baffling but at the same time can be so insightful. I found it to be a wonderful tribute to her parents.
Feb 16, 2013 Lauri rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Mixed with sadness and humor. Loving memoir of her parent's love for each other and how the family worked together during a difficult time. Finished it on an airplane while listening to Les Mis on my ipod with tears running down my face. Have Kleenix ready.
Apr 18, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing
A lovely, moving books about aging, adult children dealing with aging parents, dementia, loss; siblings finding a path and renewing/reinventing their own relationships.
Sep 04, 2012 Brooke rated it really liked it
Beautifully written but heartbreaking.
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