When I first picked up this critically-acclaimed title, I wasn't sure I could handle reading a novel that featured a parent struggling with Alzheimer's disease as one of its main plot points. Like many other people, my paternal grandmother lived with Alzheimer's, eventually passing away from the illness. I was wary that reading this story would offer up too many sad reminders of the terrible effects of the degenerative condition. I won't say that there weren't moments when this story hit me close to home and brought back memories (it did and it hurt), but it also offers a wonderful wit and warmth that have helped me, even many years later, to deal with the grief that comes from losing someone you love. It's a rare book that can make you chuckle and bring tears to your eyes within the space of a few pages. If you're looking for escapist fiction, this may not be a good pick right now, but if you want a well-crafted piece of literature that will help you to confront scary realities with humour and pathos, this is your read.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)