IF I FORGET, YOU REMEMBER by Carol Lynch Williams

IF I FORGET, YOU REMEMBER

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 From Williams (The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson, 1997, etc.), a sensitive portrait of a loving family facing the effects of a devastating illness, and an unflinching look at how Alzheimer's destroys its victims. The summer before Elyse enters junior high promises to be a wonderful one, with books lined up to read, a novel to write, plenty of mornings for sleeping in, and, best of all, a new project, working with a boy, Bruce A., on a neighborhood newspaper he's starting. Then her mother gives Elyse and older sister Jordyn some news: Their widowed grandmother, suffering from Alzheimer's, is moving in with them for the summer, when the girls can take care of her. From the beginning Granny's behavior is erratic as she fades in and out of past and present, calling Elyse ``Addie,'' after her own sister, but Elyse clings to a stubborn, unrealistic belief that the older woman will get better if only they are patient. After a series of increasingly unsettling episodes, even Elyse realizes that her grandmother is deteriorating. Once school starts, they institutionalize Granny, to keep her safe, but they bring her home each day after school. Although the ending is upbeat, this is a sad story; Elyse's distress that her beloved grandmother is changing, permanently, for the worse, has the mournful knell of authenticity. The likable characters face problems common to most readers, and do so with grace and courage. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-32534-7
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1997




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