The Geography of Memory
A Pilgrimage Through Alzheimer's
by Jeanne Murray Walker
"...a child-adult memoir of grace, poignancy, and rich compassion."—Philip Yancey
"One of the most beautiful books I've ever read."—Paula Huston
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Award-winning poet Jeanne Murray Walker tells an extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching tale of her mother's long passage into dementia.
"Taking care of my mother during her Alzheimer's years left me with gifts that surely would not have come to me any other way."
"I read this book, mesmerized, wondering my way through this deeply moving portrait of a mother, a daughter, a family." What poet Luci Shaw and many others are saying about The Geography of Memory.
"Even after Mother was almost incapable of talking, she was teaching me about life and death. What she had to teach was not always what I wanted to learn."
While it perhaps shouldn't be a surprise, one still feels fortunate to come across a contemporary memoir that reads like literature. Murray Walker draws the reader slowly toward her life and consciousness-as if gently coaxing us into a coming tragedy.
I am grateful for Jeanne Murray Walker, whose story honestly, quietly, but deeply demonstrates in her book the movement of Spirit for any present crisis, for redeeming all past locations, and for a future of hope.
While Walker does not claim to be a theologian, the text is permeated by reflections on God's presence in situations of loss and limitation. There are no easy answers here, nor should theological reflection ever prefer ease over struggle.
Ellen Painter Dollar
Walker has written a story about Alzheimer's, yes, and about her mother, and about her. But fundamentally, it is a story about memory and faith-about times when they surround and buoy us, and times when they evade our reach.
The Geography of Memory is as much a book on the lost art of courageous child-rearing as it is a book about the slow declines of old age.
Reading A Geography of Memory has helped me lay my grief to rest in a way that no other book has ever done. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The Geography of Memory struck a chord with me, drawing me into myself, forcing me to confront my own eventual frailty in spite of the frenetic pace of my life today.
M. Michael Morse
This book is not only about the geography of memory being lost, but also of memory being refreshed and brought into bold relief for a whole family.