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The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of…

The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Learning and Forgetting

by Elizabeth Cohen

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833204,608 (3.97)11



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A well-written memoir about life with a one=year old child and an eighty year old father with Alzheimer's. The author, a journalist for a local periodical in upstate New York, tells the story of living in the harsh winter after having moved from Arizona, being abandoned by her husband after only 2 mos of her father's coming, and dealing with the rising linguistic abilities of her daughter, and the lose of words and memories on her father's part.

"Daddy walks around now this way, dropping pieces of language behind him. The baby following picking them up." and she sums up her part of the story when she says "Writing gives me a sense of control. It has it's own special alchemy. I can make what is terrible turn beautiful." The story is poignant in its outlook, but surprisingly not a tear jerker. It is inspiring. ( )
  tututhefirst | Feb 25, 2010 |
Great book of forgetting and remembering-- records a year in which the author cared for both her Alzheimer dad and her one year old daughter. Comedy and sadness go hand in hand, lovely writing-- great scene where she thinks of people in Africa needing to be rescued during a flood.
  tourdefrance | Jul 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375507272, Hardcover)

In this beautiful book, Elizabeth Cohen gives us a true and moving portrait of the love and courage of a family.

Elizabeth, a member of the “sandwich generation”—people caught in the middle, simultaneously caring for their children and for their aging parents—is the mother of Ava and the daughter of Daddy, and responsible for both. Hers is the story of a woman’s struggle to keep her family whole, to raise her child in a house of laughter and love, and to keep her father from hiding the house keys in his slippers.

In this story full of everyday triumphs, first steps, and elderly confusion, Ava, a baby, finds each new picture, each new word, each new song, something to learn greedily, joyfully. Daddy is a man in his twilight years for whom time moves slowly and lessons are not learned but quietly, frustratingly forgotten. Elizabeth, a suddenly single mother with a career and a mortgage and a hamper of laundry, finds her world spiraling out of control yet full of beauty. Faced with mounting disasters, she chooses to confront life head-on.

Written in wonderful prose and imbued with an unquenchable spirit, The House on Beartown Road takes us on a journey through the remarkable landscape that is family.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Elizabeth Cohen, a Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin reporter, tells her story of being a single mother to her daughter Ava, as well as the home caregiver to her aging father, Sanford, who is suffering from mid- to late-stage Alzheimer's.

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