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Only with the Heart

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  9 reviews
After a childhood spent in foster homes and a lifetime of longing, Claudia has finally found a family: a devoted husband, Sam, and a loving and supportive mother, Eleanor. But soon Eleanor develops Alzheimer's -- complete with violent eruptions, speechlessness, incontinence, and suicide attempts -- and Claudia's beautiful life becomes a nightmare. When Eleanor is unexpecte ...more
Paperback, 1st, 323 pages
Published September 9th 2000 by Arcade Publishing
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Only with the Heart is the story of a family being torn apart by Alzheimer’s disease. Claudia, who grew up a foster child, has finally found a family amongst that of her husband Sam. His mother, Eleanor, becomes her own mother, and everyone in the family loves and accepts her. After Sam and Claudia's marriage, however, things head downhill. Eleanor is falling deeper and deeper into her illness, and when her own husband dies, she goes to live with her son and daughter-in-law. Eleanor’s mind, and ...more
This book was definitely not written for the mass market, so if you are looking for a traditional style novel, think twice before you read this one.

Like the Kommandant's Mistress, the writing style is troubling, for it is much like our minds probably are, with just a little editing. The book is divided into three sections - one is from the view of a woman (Claudia) who ends up on trial for the murder (assisted suicide) of her mother-in-law (Eleanor), who had Alzheimer's. The second section is fr
Only with the Heart is a sad yet compelling read. As a lover of fine literature I found Alexandria Constantinova Szeman a wonderful writer. The book being told from three different points of vies mimics real life as we get to see events from each perspective. I am giving this book a 5 star and would highly recommend it to anyone willing to take the time for a close good read.

My rating system is as follows:

5 stars - Excellent, Worth Every Penny, Made It Into My Personal Library!
4 stars - Great bo
"Only with the Heart" is one of the most unique books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only does it challenge its readers with a heartwrenching tale of a family suffering from the effects of Alzheimer's disease, but it also challenges its readers with the style of writing -- "flowing prose that leaps over decades and events," as the Dayton Daily News wrote. It keeps readers constantly on their toes, and reads like a train of thoughts. I commend Alexandria Constantinova Szeman for her ...more
A good reads giveaway winner. A personalized and signed edition to boot. Nice touch. (My Mother will enjoy seeing that.) Thank you for a lovely book.

Alexandria Szeman has a unique writing style. It took me a while to appreciate the style in which it was written. Once I became used it it, I really enjoyed this read. Compared to the novel "Turn of Mind", which is also about a patient with dementia and a dead body, this one was far more suspenseful and had more emotional impact.

Szeman has a way of
This was a heart warming, heart wrenching and in depth story. The journey this family endures because of a terminal illness keeps you engaged in the ever developing story line. Alzheimer is a horrible disease but many of us do not know the courage, love and strength it takes to survive it and many families do not.
Jamie Lynn
I thought the book was interesting. I didn't care much for the writing style simply because it didn't allow the character to develop more fully. It was good in the since that it really made me think about what I would do if I was in Claudia's situation.
I won this book through a Goodreads 'First Read' giveaway.

About two chapters into this book & I felt hooked. I couldn't put it down. It was so heartbreaking. This novel definitely became one of my favorites.
Erica Enriquez
This book was brilliantly hurtful. A little hard to follow at times, but the story wins. It's beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
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Author of several award-winning & critically acclaimed books, including The New York Times Book Review's "Best Book of the Year" and Winner of the Kafka Prize for "Outstanding Book of Prose Fiction by an American Woman," The Kommandant's Mistress.

Formerly writing as "Sherri" because 1st editor said "real name wouldn't fit on cover of book" and that she wanted "an easy first name" to go with Sz
More about Alexandria Constantinova Szeman...
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