Thank you to Amelia for the copy of The Memory Book and for warning me in advance that it is wonderful, but heart breaking.
This book is heartbreaking, yet beautifully written. It captures the emotions of each of Claire's family members as they attempt to deal with Claire's early onset Alzheimer's as best they can, but most importantly they capture how Claire feels - trapped, confused and helpless to name a few.
I loved each and every character. Greg for his unconditional love, Ruth for worrying in the way only a mother can, Caitlin for her goth-phase and her strength and courage, Esther for, well, being totally and utterly adorable and scrumptious and Claire for being scared and brave all at the same time.
Each and every page of this book is tainted with the sadness of the reality of early onset Alzheimer's but somehow Rowan Coleman takes the reader beyond that. We get to learn about Claire's history and Caitlin has her own story to tell and future to discover. You see more than one mother-daughter bond entwined into the pages of this book, and just like it should be, it's the most important unbreakable bond.
I must admit that I had my suspicions about Ryan right from the very moment he appeared in Claire's life, so I can't say that I wasn't surprised when that element was revealed. Saying that, it wasn't in the slightest bit predictable, I just somehow knew.
My eyes brimmed with tears on a number of occasions, and it makes you realise that life is really to short. Heartbreaking yet inspirational.