- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (August 17, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307719111
- ISBN-13: 978-0307719119
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Keeper: One House, Three Generations, and a Journey into Alzheimer's Hardcover – August 17, 2010
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
*Starred Review* By the time Gillies’ family moved into their new home—a remote, three-story Victorian behemoth—her mother-in-law Nancy’s Alzheimer’s was in its mid-stages and her father-in-law Morris was physically impaired, though still mobile. It won’t take readers long to marvel at the strength and stamina of this woman who undertook not just the 24/7 care of her in-laws, but also house and grounds renovation, bed-and-breakfast hosting, and parenting her and her husband Chris’ three children, to say nothing about writing, all in the near-isolation of a peninsula in northern Scotland. The point is, they all survived. Even after Nancy greeted B&B guests dressed only in her underpants. Even after Morris lost all mobility. Even after Nancy wandered off-grounds and was found lying in the road. They survived even after Gillies suffered a major meltdown one day while home alone with Nancy. Amid the insanity (yes, Alzheimer’s can make caregivers feel insane), Gillies amassed a library of information on the disease from which she shares details and data. And beyond that, the key to Gillies’ personal strength resides in the numerous literary and philosophical observations she frequently quotes and from which she draws inspiration in this awesome chronicle. --Donna Chavez
“Forthright, smartly researched, and warmly recounted…Gillies writes with a novelist’s eye for detail, and her unflinching rendering of Nancy’s excruciating loss of self is skillfully and tenderly drawn…An invaluable resource.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“With an economy of expression, an eye for detail and a storyteller’s knack for dialogue, Gillies charts Nancy’s terrible course from doddering to vicious and her own decline into caregiver dementia…An unvarnished cautionary tale.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The key to Gillies’ personal strength resides in the numerous literary and philosophical observations she frequently quotes and from which she draws inspiration in this awesome chronicle.” —Booklist (starred review)
Praise from Abroad for KEEPER
"This is one of the most moving and important books that I have read on Alzheimer's." — John Bayley, Author of Elgy for Iris
“Overflows with history, literature…[a] compassionate account.” – Times Literary Supplement
“A painfully honest account.” —Daily Express
“The most poignant aspect of Keeper is the way Gillies traces the increasingly unbearable pressures that are placed on carers as patients progress from memory lapses, not remembering important life events and no longer recognizing family members, to the final advanced stage that Gillies calls the ‘darkest shadow.’” —The Lancet
“Andrea Gillies’s account of living with Alzheimer’s is the perfect fusion of narrative with enough memorable science not to choke you. It’s a fantastic book—down to earth and darkly comic in places.” —The Psychologist
“In Keeper there is hope and humanity and the warmth of sacrifice.” —Catholic Herald
“Deeply moving.” —Daily Mail
Top Customer Reviews
Not only does Gillies discribe her closeness and care of her inlaws through their stages of Alzheimers but we get to understand the situation. But we become empthic with Gillies through her daily challenges with Nancy and Morris her inlaws she cares for in her home.
Gillies gives us sections of medical information to help us understand Alzheimers, There are 7 diffrent and unique stages to Alzheimers. Each stage is well explaned and through her relationsip with Nancy and Moriss we see those develop.
This is a great book for lay people or anyone involved with caregiver or alzheimers support. I would also recomend this book to anyone who wanted to understand the unique dance of Alzheimers with family or friends. When you finnish this book, share it (or buy another) for a friend or family member. Alzhimers touches everyone.Keeper: One House, Three Generations, and a Journey into Alzheimer's
Thank you for writing this. Before my mother went through this my idea of Alzheimer consisted of becoming forgetful, then sweetly ditzy, and fading away.
I was wrong. I had no idea what it feels like when your mother doesn't know who are. No one told me about the verbal abuse or physical violence. It takes a while to understand that it is the disease,not the person.
I would have been satisfied with just a short story about this time in the author's family's life. It was hard to stomach the scenes dealing with the lack of hygiene and memory that her mother-in-law lost to this illness, which caused her to need to be cared for as a newborn baby would. The older woman needed to be reassured of the same things over and over, due to permanent short term memory loss-- and she would frequently become agitated--cursing at or smacking her grandchildren. All in all, I commend Ms. Gillies for writing this, and for being such an angel in caring for her husband's parents.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was okay, but at some points, it became more about the author than the mother-in-law with dementia. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Babs
Great book for anyone with a connection to someone with Alzheimer's.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is a very candid look at life with an Alzheimer patient. It is hard to believe that this family endured caring for the elderly mother with Alzheimer's and the elderly,... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Genny Zapata
I think this book gave us an honest look into the lives of people who suffer with the disease and for family members who suffer as caregivers. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Molly
Keeper by Andrea Gillies, a Kindle book I began reading in mid-December 2011. Alot has happened since (3 changes of Kindles, a boyfriend, losing the book file then finding it... Read morePublished on May 20, 2014 by Kristine Fisher
The book was well written. It was interesting. It was scary and disturbing, but that's the nature of the disease.Published on May 14, 2014 by Lerra
One of the best books of this genre I've ever read. The author holds nothing back. There is stark honesty and pathos along with laugh out loud humor and a wry sense of irony in... Read morePublished on March 9, 2014 by Ann Booker
This story was very insightful about Nancy and her husband Morris. At time this book got very technical in the Alzheimer's history and medical field.Published on January 3, 2014 by angela v rietheimer