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All the Dancing Birds
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All the Dancing Birds

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4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Lillie Claire Glidden is unraveling. She knows she’s in trouble when she finds her wallet and keys deep in the refrigerator, smelling of lettuce and forgetfulness. And not even her favorite California red wine can dull the pain of the dreaded diagnosis: Alzheimer’s.

As language starts to fail her and words disappear, Lillie Claire is determined to find a way to pass on the
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Hardcover, First Edition, 250 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Marcanti Clarke Literary Press (first published July 31st 2012)
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Best First Book by New Author
30th out of 1,362 books — 3,080 voters
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5th out of 43 books — 55 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 834)
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Laura
I would have sworn the author must have had intimate experience with this disease. But Auburn shares that she did research with families who opened their homes to her. Bless them. I could not read it all at once. I had to walk away and come back. It was too real and too heartbreaking. My mom died of dementia and being her caretaker in her last year was the most challenging and rewarding role since being a mom. The letters in the book are beautifully and wholeheartedly written and make a striking ...more
Marilyn
Jun 26, 2014 Marilyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone interested in Alzheimer's and also to Allison Brendel .
Where do I even think to begin? I suppose, at the beginning.......Imagine being but 51 years young, and realizing that your gears are beginning to slip. Nothing big really, forgetting a dinner here, searching for the right word there. Ah, but then the next little glitches are not quite so little, and yet they are not by any means something to get too stressed over. Perhaps concerned, but you are still okay to be behind the wheel, right? I mean, missing that exit home, could be just due to a simp ...more
Lee Fullbright
At first I wasn’t sure about this book, and not because the writing isn’t competent (it is more than competent; it is completely luminous), or that I didn’t care about the narrator who has Alzheimer’s (are you kidding? I wanted her for my mom).

It’s a silly reason, actually, but here it is: I couldn’t see how just one voice/narrator, and a grand total of three somewhat peripheral characters (as it turns out, because we don’t spend much time with them) would be enough to sustain a whole book (and
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Gary Horton
All The Dancing Birds is a beautiful story about something that scares the hell out of most of us.

Lillie Claire Glidden, a charming and lovable middle-age widow in Northern California, is slowly losing her mind and she knows it. Endless Post-it notes serve as a makeshift memory and briefly prop up her familiar routine, but these quickly fail her too. She fights the all-powerful, unseen menace of Alzheimer’s as, moment by moment; she slips from the world.

Juxtaposed to her quietly disintegrating l
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Angel's Mum
I was captured by the writing in this book; so beautifully written! I've never read another book about Alzheimer's victims that captures the likely thoughts and feelings of those suffering from this horrible disease better than this book does. I can't recommend it highly enough. It will touch your heart deeply, and I know it will linger for a long time after (especially important for those of us who are blessed to be caretakers of these special people).
Elizabeth
This is a beautifully written book about a horrible, ruthless disease. Like others, I laughed and cried for Lillie Claire and for those I have known for whom this disease was a reality. I would not have discovered this book without Kindle Unlimited. I love it enough to buy a hard copy to read and reread, adding lots of highlights as I go through it. I do hope the author will write another book in the future.
Jennifer
While I did enjoy All the Dancing Birds, I felt like it wasn't as compelling as it could have been. It felt like it was really light on the story. Like there could have been more story. It was good, but not as great as other similar books I have read.

The story is told from Lillie Claire's point of view. It starts off on the day she realizes there is something not quite right with her mind. She forgets things, sometimes cannot think of words, or make her mouth say what she wants to say. It is qui
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Jason
I'm floored. McCanta's debut novel hardly seems like an author's debut. She weaves together words in a way that most can only wish, hope, and pray to do. Her prose flows like the Calcasieu that I used to "tube" down.

Lillie Claire's journey with Alzheimer's Disease provides humor, sadness and insight. The novel may be fiction but I cannot imagine that it isn't as close to the real experience from a sufferer. My wish is that this book be read by all, especially those with family going through the
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Deborah
Absolutely one of the finest books I have read in some time. The words were stunning in their beauty. The subject was a difficult one (Alzheimer's); however, the power of the writing was such that the author made me feel as though I was actually experiencing Lillie Claire's pain and confusion in my own mind and body as she watched her words, thoughts, and mind slowly slip away to a place from which there was no return.
Jeweleye
What is it like to have Alzheimer's? How would anyone know since those who suffer with the disease are unable to describe the world they live in?

Yet culling from the experiences of people who have had a family member with Alzheimer's, Auburn McCanta has written a novel that reads like a memoir of someone who is passing through the stages, from the earliest moments of forgetfulness until the final days of helplessness. The narrator shares her shame at the symptoms, her awkward moments, and the lo
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Ann
one of the most moving books i've ever read. cried all the way through the last several chapters; couldn't stop - reading or crying.
Andrew Kaye
One of the most moving books I've read.
Lindis
Heartbreakingly lovely.
T.L. Cooper
All the Dancing Birds by Auburn McCanta set my heart aflutter and my mind to dancing as it immersed me in Lillie Claire's struggle to hold on to herself. McCanta's lyrical prose wrapped me in the story like a comforting blanket as we traveled through Lillie Claire's good days and bad days. I cringed as Allison, Lillie Claire's daughter, struggled accept the reality of the changes in her mother as Lillie Claire lost her hold on her memories, her life, and her self. I blinked back tears as Bryan, ...more
Charlotte
4.5 Stars

I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This is yet another book that I wouldn't normally read, and once again I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story.

Lillie knows that something is wrong with her. Lately, her memory isn't what it used to be. She chooses to hide it so as not to worry her children, but she can only hide it for so long. When her strategically placed sticky notes fail to keep her memory from failing, her secret becomes exposed. Her children
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Alice Of Wonderland
I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

All the Dancing Birds is a cry worthing book, a beautiful creation of Auburn McCanta. When I first looked at it, I am suddenly reminded of the people, in my life, suffering from Alzheimer's. Sadly there is a few. And a few is too many. Alzheimer's Disease is mysterious. No cure has been found, yet there's a lot of researchers fighting and looking for the answer.

The main character suffers from Alzheimer's. Her daily struggles with Alzheimer's slowly turn
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Lisa Lise
All The Dancing Birds by Auburn McCanta is a truly amazing and fascinating book. It illustrates Alzheimer's disease from inside the mind of an intelligent sufferer. Having had 2 grandparents die of the disease, I can attest to accuracy of the outward symptoms and habits. As a fellow writer, I have a critical eye, but I was very pleased and excited by this wonderful novel. It is very well and creatively written. Her writing is lyrical and poetic. To even imagine writing from the Point of View of ...more
Zoe Jussel
This is one of the most poignant and thought provoking novels I have read in a long time and whether one has known anyone with Alzheimers, or just wants a good read, this is it. Realizing no one can actually get into the head of a person with this insidious disease, but if it were able to be, then this interpretation of the the downward spiral and thought process is seminal. I have such a much better and more clear idea of just how this issue affects the person themselves, as well as those aroun ...more
Susan Miller
I cried. This book is deeply moving. So much of this book resonates with me. I could easily feel myself losing little bits of memories and standing back to see how aging frailty affects younger generations. This is a truly elegant portrayal of a women's decent into dementia. Brief snippets of memories linger and then she is lost again. This story is so well written it feels real.
Deborah Halnon
How A Failing Memory Feels

This book left me crying. No, I am not having increasing forgetfulness, just seeing the changes of moving from active mother to a retiree. But it is time to live, every day.
Debra Tucker
Wonderful characters and a well thought of storyline.

I got to love this woman and felt her pain and confusion as her mind slowly fades away Great novel. Loved it.
Teri
I don't think I was quite the "target audience" for this book. I was given the book by an old professor of mine who told me that she couldn't finish reading the book because it was so depressing. Well I finished it. While no one probably ever knows what's going on in the mind of someone with Alzheimer's, I think this gives a pretty good depiction. It was a slow read for me and I sometimes found myself dragging through the book right along with Lillie Claire's memory. Not to say that a book about ...more
Åshild
So beautifully written - it made a huge impact on me. This will stay with me for a long time and is on my top three list of great reads this year.
Cindy
This book handles a very difficult subject and did it with an interesting perspective. My mom had dementia so it definitely hit a nerve for me. I loved how the author used second person snippets to describe how Lillie sees herself. It was also interesting to see how the children handled the crisis differently. And, Jewell was a treasure, everyone dealing with dementia needs a person just like that! I felt like this book could have been based on a true family experience. I was impressed to read a ...more
Dana Raysnyder
this book was good...but sad.
Áine
Loved, loved, loves this book. The prose is delicious, and the characters are colorful and enticing. I'm not in the habit of reading straight-up fiction and drama, tending to usually prefer fantasy and science fiction novels, so the level of enjoyment I found in this story caught me off guard. If you know anyone who has ever suffered from any form of dementia, I'm sure this book will hit home. It is sad and beautiful and somehow joyful all at the same time. Highly recommended.
Bronwyn
Lovely writing about a difficult subject.
Being narrated from the viewpoint of the sufferer, it was a hard act to pull off. But this Author did it.
Well worth reading by anyone.
Jinty
This was gut-wrenching, tender, & imaginative with lovely prose and vivid images. An excellent book!
It lingers peacefully, and comforting - even sparkles through the powerful message.
I want to share this book with everyone.
tbears
Beautifully written and so insightful. McCanta has opened my eyes and heart into the mysterious and scary world of dementia and Alzheimer with which my dad is suffering. Like the main character, he is now constantly bringing up his childhood days. I hope for his sake that he won't have to suffer with this affliction for as many years as Lillie Claire had.

This is a must-read!
Michele Whitecotton
It is simply amazing that the author could so completely describe what it is like to have a disease when she has never experienced it. She describes Alzheimer's in first person in the simplest of ways but it really makes you understand and it breaks your heart. This book was so beautiful and so sad....it's hard to explain. You just have to read it.
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