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Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient. She's not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.
B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, listeners learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.
At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gillian on 01-29-16
Poignant Memoir, Stirring Call to Action
This is part love story, part call to action, part information for the un- or newly initiated. And it's all good. Parts of it get very technical, but it's all interesting, and of course it's evened out and Alzheimer's is given its face by showing what it's doing to B and Dan. They are unstintingly open with their lives, and it's heartbreaking.
It is also, however, galling at times. Dan, and he is honest about it, picks a lot of battles that are ridiculous. How about not having how you feel about the entirety of your day hinge upon whether your wife can find her purse easily or not? Or maybe have a lot of purses everywhere? I don't know, I know it's hard; we have it now in our family too, and you have to be creative and oh so resilient. And you have to, as Dan says, over and over, "remind yourself that you can't reason with someone who has lost the ability to reason."
Now where Dan HAS picked a battle and is truly, truly awesome, is in the fight to raise awareness of and money for research for Alzheimer's. That man has some spectacular ideas, and really, he has conviction to no end.
In this memoir, only the narration falters a bit, as Dan reads his own words, bit by bit, haltingly at times, but when he's casual, he's golden. And when B. speaks, you just love her. You just want the best for her, and you just hate the disease.
This is a spectacular book, a bit technical, but filled with warmth, tears, and laughter too.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 11-03-17
The Caregivers Point of View
I read this because it was a book club read. I am glad I did. It is a very open and honest view of the challenge of dealing with early onset Alzheimers. Dan Gatsby provides a very open and heartbreaking story of the journey of identifying B. Smith's alzheimers diagnosis and the challenge of being the caregiver for someone you love. The narration by B. Smith gives you the perspective from the person who has the disease. Must read for anyone affected by this disease.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful