It’s very hard to write about Alzheimer’s Disease as it affects a close family member. Inevitably, the sufferer behaves in a way which is exasperating and (objectively, and in the earlier stages) amusing (as their previous self would have acknowledged), but at the same time the onlooker is witnessing the utter disintegration and destruction of a person he or she holds very dear.
It’s a trick Martin Slevin pulls off absolutely beautifully in our forthcoming title, The Little Girl in the Radiator. Here’s the jacket and the AI blurb:
THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE RADIATOR is a tale of love, loss and family: the touching, hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking story of a man’s struggle to care for his mother after her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s.
Martin Slevin’s mum was a highly active, very intelligent and fiercely independent woman who ran her own business and ruled Martin and his father with a rod of iron.
But after Martin’s dad dies, her life crumbles, and she becomes listless and forgetful. Eventually, she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and Martin moves back home to care for her.
Together, they embark on a journey through the various stages of the condition; the destination is never in doubt, but along the way there are many lighter moments, as she shaves the dog’s bottom, holds sing-songs with an imaginary Irish band and pins all of Martin’s socks to the wall.
And all the time, the question nags away at him: who is the little girl in the radiator, with whom his mother has urgent, daily, whispered conversations?
Meanwhile, we’re keeping a keen eye on this case as it develops. Google ‘Nightjack and Monday Books’ to find out why.