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The Story of My Father: A Memoir Paperback – June 8, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sue Miller gracefully addresses her perennial theme--our intimate betrayals--in her subtle and satisfying novels. Visit Amazon's Sue Miller Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
What Sue Miller adds to this "genre" is the general excellence of her writing. (Miller is well-known as the author of novels such as "The Good Mother.") Thus, "The Story of My Father" rises above the sad story of her father's decline (a story whose outlines will be familiar to many of us) and gives us more, a touching portrait of the man her father was throughout his life.
I did not learn anything new about Alzheimer's from reading this book. But I think most of us read books like this not for the medical facts, but for the sense that we are not alone, that other people have been there, too. If that describes you well, you will find "The Story of My Father" a very sympathetic choice.
My father is a retired Episcopal priest who is afflicted with Alzheimer's-like dementia and is currently in a nursing home Alzeheimer's unit after the death of my mother in 2001. Such nursing care was evidentally, sadly, unavailable to Miller's father. My mother was my father's primary caregiver as he descended further into dementia, with its cruel behaviors expressed erratically, resulting in confusion for the afflicted person as well as emotional and physical abuses to those who knew him before this hideous disease destroyed his brain and much of his memory. My mother also tried to do those monumental caregiving tasks with very minimal outside assistance. Not a good idea. It was her choice, despite my brother and myself trying to convince her otherwise. I know she saw it as an act of devotion to him, but with her own health problems ignored, she began to fail, both physically and mentally. Those who have dealt with Alzheimer's directly or indirectly, know that it is not uncommon for "devoted" caregivers to be the first to die almost literally from self-neglect.
Miller's memoir of her father reminded me at times of my own relationships with my parents growing up, so I could relate to much of what she has written here. Like Miller, my academic background was in English and writing, including receiving a graduate degree in English. Unlike Miller, I became a licensed clinical social worker in recent years as a result of returning to graduate school for a second time to pursue a professional degree in that field.Read more ›
Miller's sad and pleasant memories in the midst of his decline are placed within the context of her childhood and family of origin. She describes in detail many of the ways that her father's personality shaped her own way of thinking and her career as a writer. She recalls the cruel irony of watching her father, a church historian, wrestle with a disease that chipped away at his own history over a period of eight years. She does not write simply about his AD, for he had a fulfilling life before its onset. His life before and after the onset of his disease are examined as a whole. Miller does not wish to remember her father as a man rendered helpless. She tries to reclaim him as the loving parent he was for most of his long life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sue Miller writes with great sensitivity about her father's descent into Alzheimer's. I loved her ruminative style.Published 7 months ago by Bookworm Belle
Alzheimer's is no fun to think about or read about - My mother had it for 13 years and finally died - actually a relief to her loved ones - and, I was relieved! Read morePublished 8 months ago by CJ Hemingway
Although I identified with this memoir in many ways, I find more meat and satisfaction in Sue Miller's novels which have autobiographic tidbits I recognize from living in Hyde Park... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mary Ann Payne
Beautifully written. And, for me, the most helpful book I've come across about what it is like to see someone you love disappear to Alzheimer's. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Helen
This book will really resonate with anyone who has had a family member with dementia. I read it in one day.Published 23 months ago by M. M. Lusak
Good story if you're looking for a play by play on Alzheimer's progression. Living with it was enough for me.Published on November 12, 2013 by gayle
Sue Miller's story about her relationship with her father and caring for him during his illness was very true to life. Read morePublished on October 28, 2013 by p w gillespie
I have enjoyed Sue Miller's fiction and was curious about this book as it is non-fiction. I found it to be thoughtful and well written as well as the fact that she researched... Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Carol