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All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia. With Refreshments (Alex Witchel)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is a book that has all the ingredients I normally love: it’s a heartwarming memoir about a daughter dealing with her mother’s dementia, with strong family bonds, fiercely independent female protagonists, mother-daughter-grandmother angst, and warmth. It even has recipes (what a clever touch!) and a lot of loving details about food and rituals. Yet despite it having all of the necessary elements that should have made me love it, I just didn’t. There are some admittedly well-written moments that are touching, sad, or just feel startlingly true and thus wonderful… but overall, I just didn’t connect with this family. The father figure feels like a bit of a lopsided villain/caricature, and the pacing/writing, though mostly clear, just didn’t really grab me. I was excited to find this book, but finishing it felt a bit like a chore…
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