The Kind of September by William Donohue

The Kind of September

A College Deans Race Against Time and Alzheimer's

KIRKUS REVIEW

A vivid, touching account of Alzheimer’s ravaging a bright, capable man.

What happens when someone shifts from being a caregiver to needing care himself or herself? In his debut novel, Donohue masterfully examines this delicate, complicated transition, featuring Jim Johnson, a dean of students who, at only 50, discovers he has Alzheimer’s. As the father of three children, one of whom has Down syndrome, Jim had always been the one administering care and attention at work and at home. As his descent into helplessness begins, he reflects back to his own parents, whose feebleness he could not understand or tolerate. Struggling for control while he still can, Jim fights desperately to maintain his dignity as well as his memories. Much falls on the shoulders of his wife, Deanna, who, as a trained nurse, is more than equipped to handle the medical issues, but as his loving wife, she now balances what is essentially single-parenthood with caring for her husband as if he’s another child. Jim’s family rallies around him, eager to cherish the disappearing moments of the man they know and the wisdom he has to impart. Together, they face the uncertain future. Told with honesty and sensitivity, this tale of demise takes on the deep, complex issues related to the emotions behind a devastating diagnosis. As the novel explores Jim’s and his parents’ and children’s generations, the different roles and dynamics are brought to life through the prism of suffering. Yet this isn’t merely a story of disease; it’s one of hope amid resignation, triumph despite inevitable defeat.

A beautifully told story of how a family finds strength when their bedrock weakens.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1478214045
Page count: 278pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2013




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