As famously said by Marcel Camus,"Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth." And so Murdock has revealed a gripping truth about Alzheimer's disease. In fact, her book is one of many truths--both painful and somehow satisfying--that ripple through her story and leave the reader entranced by the world her characters inhabit. - Kenneth S. Kosik, M.A., M.D., Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute, Harriman Professor of Neuroscience, University of California, Santa Barbara, Author of Outsmarting Alzheimer's Disease.
Murdock's key strength is elucidating fully detailed portraits of psychological realism . . . [She] misses no observation or detail in her writing, which gives thereader the proper emotional counterpoint to the clinical realm of trying to make sense of a disease that ranks behind cancer as the most-fearedillness. Sensitively written, Murdock's novel is a . . . compelling meditation on how we remember place and howthose memories form and explain our changing identities in thelandscape. -Les Roka, The Utah Review
From the Author
Years after my father died with Alzheimer's, I was still wondering what that experience was like for him. I'd read lots of descriptions of the different stages a person goes through, and I'd read quite a view memoirs of what it was like for caregivers, but I wanted to know what it was like from inside the experience. So, being an author, I decided to create a character that I could live with for a while. That character was Aaron Young. I created a history for him (somewhat like my father's history) and beliefs and character traits (somewhat like my father's beliefs and character traits). Then I began putting him into relationships and situations (some happy, some disturbing) to see what he would say and do and feel. After more than seven years of living with Aaron and the characters around him, I believe I really do understand what Alzheimer's is like.
After I had learned what I needed to learn, I focused on writing Man in the Mirror
in a way that
would carry readers into a deeply empathetic relationship with Aaron so they too could understand what the experience is like. The feedback I've received so far tells me I accomplished my goal. I hope that is true. So many of us will have to deal with this disease in one way or another. It seems critical to me that we try to see beneath the surface of confusion and engage whatever remains in the minds of our loved ones. I hope my story can help with that.