Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Absent Mind

An Absent Mind
Eric Rill
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Avante Press (March 1, 2014)

Idgie Says: 
This is a heartwrenching novel that doesn't soft touch any of the feelings that are being felt - from Saul himself to his children.  Anger, fright, hostility, frustration........and love.   The book flips back and forth between Saul and his kids, each a different chapter.  Saul's confusion comes and goes, as does the children's hope for it all to end and the longing to regain the father they had.  The fear they feel when they discover that a gene they may carry might almost guarantee that they too will have this affliction - as might their children.

It's a good book that while it might not make you feel better about having to deal with this affliction in your family, it will make you realize you are not alone - in any of your thoughts or feelings.  A really well done book, showing the issue and emotions, but keeping it very "readable" at the same time.


Book Description:
AN ABSENT MIND, a riveting new novel from Eric Rill, author of PINNACLE OF DECEIT and THE INNOCENT TRAITOR, is about a race against time. The ticking time bomb is Saul Reimer's sanity. His Alzheimer's is going to be the catalyst that will either bring his family together or tear it apart.

Although AN ABSENT MIND depicts Saul's arduous struggle with Alzheimer's, it is equally a story about his relationship with his loved ones and their shared journey.

Seventy-one, and a man used to controlling those around him, Saul finds himself helplessly slipping into the abyss in what he describes as his slow dance with death. As we listen in on his ramblings, humor, emotions, lucid moments, and confusion, we are also privy to the thoughts and feelings his family share with us--his wife, Monique, conflicted and depressed; caring, yet angry; his daughter, Florence, compassionate, worried about her father's health, yet proper and reserved; his son, Joey, self-centered and narcissistic, seemingly distant from his family's challenges. And Dr. Tremblay, Saul's Alzheimer's specialist, who provides the reader with facts and observations about this dreaded disease that imprisons more than 35 million people worldwide.

We know from the beginning how it has to end for Saul, because no one has ever outsmarted Alzheimer's. But how will he navigate the meandering road that will eventually destroy his health and result in his death? And how will it affect those around him as they live with strain and guilt, while at the same time being forced to face their own demons?

These questions are answered expertly by the author as he explores the conflicts that rise to the surface as the family deals with Saul's dementia.
Eric Rill's novel is reminiscent of Lisa Genova's Still Alice, Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, and Alice Munro's Away From Her. Although a beautiful work of literary fiction, AN ABSENT MIND will expose the reader to the reality of Alzheimer's.