"When thinking of a good romance novel to curl up with on a rainy day, most people are probably not thinking about Alzheimer's disease. Registered Nurse Marianne Sciucco just might change some minds with her beautiful book, Blue Hydrangeas: An Alzheimer's Love Story. Blue Hydrangeas is a heartfelt story about a loving couple who come to that too-often inevitable place in their lives where Alzheimer's throws a roadblock right in the middle of their journey together. Like so many, Jack and Sara worked hard all their lives to retire and get their dream home. They open it up as a bed and breakfast and then comes the diagnosis for Sara. Jack dutifully, lovingly and stubbornly, takes on the role of primary Caregiver like a champ. As the years progress and Sara regresses, she often becomes down-right mean and, what many would consider, impossible to cope with. But, despite his own failing health, Jack loves Sara and is defiant about keeping her home, where she belongs, with him. When just about everyone in Jack's life finally convinces him that he has no choice but to place Sara in an assisted living facility, he relinquishes - almost. It's the journey that occurs following Jack's ultimate decision that draws the reader even more into the truly heart-wrenching and beautiful love affair between these lifelong partners. Sciucco's use of dialogue is extraordinary and her understanding of how Alzheimer's effects every member of the afflicted person's family and social network is compelling. Blue hydrangeas are both a place and a metaphor in this work about love and devotion. And it has a happy ending!" - Sissy Bowen, Caregiver's Companion
"The author covered some of the most difficult situations families are dealing with, and I can see our caregivers connecting to the husband and son." - Meg E. Boyce,LMSW, Vice President Programs and Services Alzheimer's Association, Poughkeepsie,NY "Marianne Sciucco not only did a wonderful job writing a beautiful novel about a couple experiencing dementia, but did it in a thoughtful, authentic, humane way." Donna Davies, LCSW, Alzheimer's Association, Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY Chapter "BLUE HYDRANGEAS traces a couple's struggle with Alzheimer's in an effective story that doesn't pull its punches, but remains compassionate and absorbing." - Liz Lynch for IndieReader "What a touching account of a couple's journey into Alzheimer's and of the love that never succumbed to the disease! Marianne Sciucco captured all the levels of feelings and fears that accompany this journey--the doubting, the rationalization that everything is ok, the hoping....and finally the acceptance. Most of all, she captured the love that so often brings out strengths that will help caregivers and their loved ones as they face this together. A truly remarkable story!" - Marilynn Garzione, author of Released to the Angels: Discovering the Hidden Gifts of Alzheimer's
"Blue Hydrangeas is, by far, the most tender love story I've read in a very long time. While not a 'happily ever after' love story, Blue Hydrangeas is sure to be one you will ponder for some time after you have finished reading it." - Lee Ambrose for Story Circle Book Reviews
From the Author
I hope you enjoy "Blue Hydrangeas." It is my first novel and a story I wrote from the heart after witnessing the pain and heartbreak of many couples and families struggling with Alzheimer's disease. The characters of Jack and Sara are loosely based on one couple I met in my work as a registered nurse. Their experiences are a composite of the many families I assisted with decision making and navigating the health care system to ensure their loved ones were taken care of in ways that preserved their dignity and well-being. This is a tough, demanding disease, and many people seek comfort in knowing they are not alone in their struggle. "Blue Hydrangeas" is my attempt to bring consolation and understanding to all who encounter Alzheimer's.