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Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words

When her mother began to exhibit the symptoms of dementia, Kate Whouley did what her English-teacher mom would want her to do: read up on the subject. She found lots of tips for preventing mental decline—too late for that—and a fair amount of practical advice for caregivers—moderately helpful, uniformly grim. Kate craved a compassionate companion with an appreciation for irony-and that's what she gives us in Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words. With honesty and good humor, Kate shares the tough, the tender, the heart wrenching and the laugh-or-you'll-cry experiences of an Alzheimer's caregiver.
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As her mother falls into forgetting, Kate remembers for us. In her mother, we meet a strong-minded, accidental feminist with a weakness for unreliable men. We meet a daughter who learned early to fend for herself. We encounter their shared passions: books, words, and music. When the books are forgotten, and the words begin to fade, it is the music that matters most to Kate's mother. Holding hands after a concert, a flute-case slung over Kate's shoulder, and a shared joke between them, their relationship is healed—even in the face of a dreaded, and deadly diagnosis.

Remembering the Music is the story of two women, mother and daughter, who journey to a place where they are free from their not-uncomplicated past. Here, they meet each other in the present, sharing the only moment the mother knows, and one of many moments the daughter—and her readers—will remember.