Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful book about family, caring and self awareness.
on October 12, 2009
I live in Athens Ohio, the same town as the author. When I saw a copy in the local bookstore window, the word Alzheimer's caught my eye, along with the very cool retro cover. My father is in a nursing home, suffering from this disease along with the after affects of two major strokes. I've read half a dozen texts on the medical attributes of the disease but this book presented a different viewpoint.
I quickly found myself lost in the incredible story of how caring intimately for ones parent can lead you to discover so much about your own self. Or, at least it leads John Thorndike to have this slowly revealed to him through the long days of care giving. I was also impressed at how engrossed I was in a subject that should have left me depressed but instead I felt uplifted by the experiences the author relayed. The book is a touching journey about going home and finding your place in a family. Although John emotionally sided many years with his mother, in caring for his father the truth of his character is revealed, not through conversation, but through everyday acts, which illustrate the gracious qualities his dad possessed.
The story of Mr. Thorndike's childhood and family in and of itself is very interesting, from his father's brilliant career in magazine publishing to his mother's secretive and devastating sex life, I found the tale of his past to never be far from the situation present. I'm thrilled to see he has an earlier memoir, Another Way Home, in which I can read more about his turn at fatherhood.
Would highly recommend The Last of His Mind to anyone interested in family dynamics, exploring your own personality by examining your past, caring for an elderly parent, an in-depth look at Alzheimer's and anyone who likes to curl up with a good story.