A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me

Book - 2010
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What do you do when your outspoken, passionate, and quick-witted mother starts fading into a forgetful, fearful woman? In this powerful graphic memoir, Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer's disease transformed her mother Midge--and her family--forever.

In spare black and white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family's journey through a harrowing range of emotions--shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration--all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness. Midge, a Harvard-educated intellectual, struggles to comprehend the simplest words; Sarah's father Rob slowly adapts to his new role as full-time caretaker, but still finds time for word-play and poetry with his wife; Sarah and her sister Hannah argue, laugh, and grieve together as they join forces to help Midge get to sleep, rage about family friends who have disappeared, or collapse in tears at the end of a heartbreaking day.

Tangles provides a window on the complexity of Alzheimer's disease, and ultimately opens a knot of moments, memories, and dreams to reveal a bond between a mother and a daughter that will never come apart.

Publisher: Calgary : Freehand Books, c2010
ISBN: 9781551111179
Branch Call Number: 362 .196 LEA
Characteristics: 127 p. :,ill. ;,27 cm


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Jun 18, 2017

Small things start to become big problems. Sarah, her sister Hannah, and their father and aunties rally around as the mother, wife and sister Midge becomes more and more affected by Alzheimers. This book is poignantly funny, and provides an insight into the effects of this brutal disease.

Mar 27, 2017

This book is written through the eyes of the author and what she and her family went though following her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis. The book begins with a short excerpt on her mother's parents and siblings which is followed by information about the author, her sister and their father. I was constantly astounded by the amount of patience that the family showed and the authors honesty abut her mother's disease. The book jumps around a little bit but overall I think this is a great book with plenty of insight on Alzheimer's and it's effect not only on the patient but their family as well.

Feb 24, 2017

Sarah wrote this graphical memoir about her mother's slow descent into the darkness of Alzheimer's disease. The story is touching and poignant, but I'll let you in on a little secret: Sarah can't draw very well, but she can write well enough.

bibliotechnocrat Jan 22, 2016

Graphic storytelling might seem like a counterintuitive choice for a poignant memoir about a daughter and a family coping with the mother’s dementia, but the spare artwork and candid prose work really well here. Though it is something of a harrowing read, Leavitt manages to incorporate humour along with the tragedy. Ultimately this is a moving story of a family’s love during an excruciating time.

Aug 28, 2015

What a wonderful, sad book to read. Sarah's experience is deeply personal but, for anyone who has a family member with Alzheimer's disease, it is worth it. I felt all of the emotions that Sarah did, and she helped normalize them. I've recommended this book to many others.

May 04, 2015

Rough drawings, and type is very thin and difficult to read, but a touching human steory.

aforr71 Feb 09, 2013

I read this after my grandmother died from dementia. She had been sick for years, with my mother and uncle struggling to care for her. I am so glad that Ms. Leavitt wrote this book to let families know that they aren't alone, that their mixed feelings are normal.

Donna_R Sep 18, 2012

By this time my mother didn't know what a daughter was, or a mother.

A beautiful graphic novel called Tangles by Sarah Leavitt tells the story of her mum Midge, their family, and how Alzheimers came into their lives. First it just seemed like a bit of forgetfulness. But then Alzheimers began its mean attrition.

Sarah kept notes and drew pictures from the pre-diagnosis days, to her mother's death, and beyond. The story she tells has the honesty of observation. Some details are hard to take, but are instantly recognisable to anyone who has had a loved one with Alzheimers.

It's a bloody brave book and it broke my heart open like a fruit.

crooked_kate Sep 17, 2012

A unique perspective on a terrible disease. The telling of this story in graphic form lends raw emotion and a detailed retelling of a daughter's struggle to understand the disease's hold on her mother's mind and her family's spirit.

Cdnbookworm Sep 06, 2011

This graphic memoir is written in a very open manner, documenting Sarah's mother's early onset Alzheimer's. We see not only Sarah's reactions to the disease affecting her mother, but also the rest of the family's. Sarah is very open about the issues, the struggles, and the emotions present here. The drawing really make things come alive. We see the emotions in people's faces and the struggles her mother and the rest of the family faced. This is a book that can open up discussions around this difficult health issue for many families, breaking through the barriers of fear and denial that often come up.
There is nothing that seeing that you are not alone in what you are going through to help with mental health around this for the caregivers.

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