As fiercely independent Ruth struggles to stay self-reliant at the age of 86, each day brings her closer to an event that will alter her life forever. While her author daughter shifts through Ruth’s possessions prior to her move into a skilled nursing facility, she discovers a previously unseen photo from 1949 and realizes how little she knows about her mother’s life during the good times, memories she never shared with her children..
As Alzheimer’s continues to warp Ruth’s once sharp mind, she can no longer shed any light on the past. Yearning to know who her mother was as a person in her own right, the author painstakingly reconstructs Ruth’s life from photos, letters, public records and firsthand memories.
What emerges is a portrait of a bright, beautiful woman who is propelled through decades of broken promises and heartache, bouncing from one ill-fated relationship to the next, but always staying strong, always surviving. Through a timeline going back sixty years, the author gleans a much better understanding of the woman she had known only as Mom.
“I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it’s a remarkable account of the life of a woman who definitely had a story to tell. This book will resonate with a wide variety of readers including readers of human interest stories, readers caring for aging parents as well as with readers dealing with some of the same issues of family drama.” ★★★★★
“This book is an biography of the writer’s mother. The relationship early on was stormy and sometimes even hate-filled, The Writer very much keeps an even hand and tells the story from her mother’s point of view. It is a tragedy. The mother’s life was filled with many trials and difficulties that made her bitter and angry, and the daughter was the recipient of much of this bitterness. Even so the daughter keeps an even hand and tells the story with love and respect for the mother. Sadly the story ends in Alzheimer’s, but in this case Alzheimer’s is a blessing. Without her bitterness the mother is able to express pure love to her family unlike anything she ever did during their childhood. The story is interesting and engaging throughout. It is a tribute to the mother and to the author.” ★★★★★
“I adored my mother, who was also a most beautiful woman, and I have written about her in fiction, but I seriously doubt that I could ever attempt to write something as candid as this, so close to the bone. This is a most admirable work, and I look forward to reading more of Cynthia Hamilton’s writing.” ★★★★★