Engaging, honest, and poignant and a worthy addition to the burgeoning Alzheimer’s literature.




A debut memoir that presents a realistic view of the challenges faced by baby boomers responsible for elderly parents.    

When it came time for Turner and her husband, Bob, to move his mother, 88-year-old Mollie, into their “dream house” near Orlando, Florida, the author approached the task enthusiastically. Turner, in her early 60s at the time, had always had a close, loving relationship with her in-law. Mollie was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but the author had taken a seminar and collected information ahead of time, so she was confident that she could provide the sort of nurturing environment for Mollie that Bob’s three sisters no longer could. She had no idea that the experience would knock her totally off her game, setting up an internal battle between “good Sherry” and “bad Sherry” as she tried to overcome frustration and anger. This is the story of the last three years of Mollie’s life and of Turner’s personal struggle to reconcile her own expectations with difficult, day-to-day frustrations. For the author, it became a lesson in humility and acceptance. Her smooth, present-tense, often self-deprecating prose brings readers directly into her moments of triumph and defeat. Even when “bad Sherry” rears her snarky head, readers know that Turner loved her mother-in-law, who was sweet and loved singalongs; she even had total recall of the words and music of her favorite songs. She also skillfully recounted stories from her youth and young adulthood. But Turner also makes her short-term memory issues clear. In one vividly described incident, the author took her in-law to a big-band concert, where she joyfully sang along. But while talking about the concert just minutes later, Mollie said wistfully: “Oh, I would love to have seen that....Can I go with you next time?” The author also tells how she learned to cherish positive moments; as her husband told her, “You can’t make her better....We want her time with us...her last years, to be pleasant; and you are doing all that you can to achieve that.”

Engaging, honest, and poignant and a worthy addition to the burgeoning Alzheimer’s literature.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5355-8124-0

Page Count: 234

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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