Idea: Stephen Lewis has accomplished a rare feat in writing the slow, painful erosion of Carol, his wife, a sufferer of early onset dementia, juxtaposed with the story of their love and the happy years before the disease stole her from herself. The story of Carol is set forth so vividly that the reader sees her with his eyes, every step of the way.
Prose: Stephen Lewis possesses that rara avis, a writer's writer utterly free of pretension or vanity. The simplicity of language, yoked to his complexity of thought, recalls the words of W.B. Yeats - "A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, Our stitching and unstitching has been naught." Mr. Lewis has not stitched in vain.
Originality: No story of caregiving in this reviewer's experience has ever been written with such an exquisite ear, nor with such an eye for structure and for selecting the quotidian details that transform this from a memoir into a work of art. The subject of caregiving is universal; its expression in this memoir is unique.
Character/Execution: Carol and Stephen will live forever for any reader of this book - an immortality they more than deserve, and one that will greatly enrich the life of the reader. Reading Stephen's description of the life they shared, one wishes one could have known them in the prime of their health and pure joy in one another. Two lives, beautifully lived, and beautifully written.
Date Submitted: December 10, 2020