An Absent Mind
By: Eric Rill
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 1/13/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Seventy-one, and a man used to controlling those around him, Saul finds himself slipping into what he describes as his slow dance with death.
His ramblings, humor, emotions, lucid moments, and confusion are laid bare, as well as the thoughts and feelings of his loved ones: his wife, Monique, conflicted and depressed . . . caring, yet angry; his daughter, Florence, compassionate, yet proper and reserved; his son, Joey, self-centered and narcissistic, seemingly indifferent to his family’s challenges; and his doctor, an Alzheimer’s specialist, who cares for Saul until his final days.
From the beginning Saul and his family know how it has to end, because no one has ever outsmarted Alzheimer’s. But as they navigate the meandering road that will eventually bring Saul’s demise, they leave behind their once disconnected lives and come together to weather their difficult journey.
Heartfelt and moving, this lauded novel, winner of 2014 gold medals from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, and the Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Fiction, will appeal to fans of Lisa Genova’s Still Alice or Nicholas Sparks’s The Notebook.
A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC i n exchange for an honest review.
Eric Rill’s AN ABSENT MIND, is a riveting account of one man’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and the emotional journey of his family and those around him.
Saul is a man in his early seventies when this terrible illness strikes. We also hear from the other family member’s perspective and how this horrific disease has touched each life. His wife, Monique; Florence-daughter; and Joey, the son.
With short chapters we hear from the controlling Saul as he feels he is losing his control and slipping away. At times of course your heart goes out to him with the confusion and other times he can be humorous.
As we hear from each family member, his wife is depressed and feels obligated, the daughter is reserved, yet compassionate and worried; and then of course we have the son who is more self-centered and removed.
If you have been around anyone with Alzheimer’s, it is rather scary, as you can only image what is going on in their confused mind. If they could only tell you.
My sister cares for a woman with Alzheimer’s, ninety years old and she can be a real hoot; however, as the day progresses she seems more confused and disoriented.
This was my first book by Eric Rill and his personal journey with his father definitely brought insights to the novel. However, I would not compare this book to Lisa Genova's novels, as have read all her books; and one of my favorite authors -she brings much more emotion and feelings from her characters to her stories.
If you enjoyed this book, would highly recommend Genova’s new upcoming novel Inside the O’Briens , a family’s struggle with HD (Huntington’s Disease)—was fortunate to have read an ARC. With Genova’s books you feel each person’s emotion deeply; whereas with Rill’s did not have the same impact.
However, I would recommend AN ABSENT MIND, as a realistic portrait of a family and how each person is affected by the illness. Rill also includes chapters from a doctor’s perspective with nice research. Look forward to reading more from this author.