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*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*
I was curious about this book since I have experience working with Alzhiemer’s patients. I was wondering how accurate the author would portray the disease and wondered how the story was going to go. When I started listening, I was not prepared for the emotions that this book was going to draw out of me. It was so heartwrenching and emotional that I was taken aback. This is such a beautiful love story that really shows what true love is all about. The unconditional, undying, and unrelenting type of love that everyone always dreams of is the type of love that this story has. It is so touching that I cried “ugly tears” several times during this book. I absolutely loved it! Ms. Sciucco portrayed the disease, the person afflicted, and the family of the afflicted so well that I felt like I truly knew these people. It was great. I don’t think that anyone can write a better book that shows what all a family goes through when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The only thing that I wish was done in the book is if the narrator were to have shown emotion consistently. There were chunks of the book where the narrator showed so much emotion, I wondered if she were crying while reading. Then there were chunks where it was literally like she was sitting there reading the book aloud; no emotion, no variations, just sitting there and reading a book aloud. That alone is what made this a 4 STAR book for me, instead of a 5 star.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Blue Hydrangeas the most enjoyable?
Narrator Elinor Bell tells this story with a delicate balance of compassion, realism and objectivity that enables the listener to empathize with Jack and Sara without getting bogged down in the horrific devastation wrought on those faced with Alzheimer's. My father was diagnosed with AD in his early 50s and lived with the diagnosis for 18 years. Knowing firsthand how painful AD can be, I was almost reluctant to experience this story. While there are sharp emotional moments that triggered my own grief and loss, the narrator's gentle but honest style kept me moving forward with the story. Readers who have experienced AD will be reminded of the strength, hope and love that enables them (us) to cope with Alzheimer's.
What did you like best about this story?
Author Marrianne Sciucco's portrayal of Sara is true to life - The angry outbursts directed toward Jack, her fear, her confusion, the rare "good days". Sara is not depicted as good or bad or even a victim; she is just a person affected by a disease that impacts not only cognitive abilities, but emotions and behavior.
Any additional comments?
There are no easy answers when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer's. Different families have different needs and resources that result in different decisions for each. Blue Hydrangeas is a compassionate and honest portrayal of how AD impacts couples, families and friends. While there is no miracle cure or miraculous healing (although I found myself wishing something like this would happen for Jack and Sara), this story captures the power of real-life love, hope and courage.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Blue Hydrangeas in three words, what would they be?
Sad, Beautiful, Heartbreaking
What other book might you compare Blue Hydrangeas to, and why?
Any which deals with impossible true situations.
What about Elinor Bell’s performance did you like?
Excellent. She brought alive the story as a whole and portrayed the emotion very well.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Coming to terms with the truth.
Any additional comments?
A beautiful and well written story of a couple faced with Alzheimer's - a cruel and debilitating brain disease.
This is by no means a soppy love story but one of courage and strength and heartbreakingly honest in the way it deals with those tangle emotions.
I actually won this story as an audiobook and will be posting a review for that too - extremely well narrated.
Not wanting to give spoilers, this is a wonderful, insightful and, yes, I will say it again, beautiful story everyone should read /listen.