December 16, 2015

Book Review by a carer - "I Wish I Were a Leper"

*these and other resources mentioned in the book review are  available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on

Two very personal new books ...

I wish I were a leper : the diary one couple's struggle with fear, faith and Alzheimer's

I have to tell you I had quite a reaction to this one; I spent the first half of the book feeling frustrated by the author, and then I had a revelation: every carer is different and each of us has different ways of coping and different caring gifts; not only is this man very humble in sharing his experience - warts and all - but up till now I've taken for granted my ability to cope with the journey. Our partners are the same age going through YOD, yet my coping has been very different. I finished with a great deal of respect for the love this man had for his wife and a great deal of gratitude for my ability to give my husband as gentle as possible a road through the minefield, to the point where he's now at the late stage of no longer anguishing over the skills he has lost and no longer missing those he loves who have "disappeared" from his recognition and his emotional need.

A very confronting book but beautiful in its testimony to love.

**about the book - “I wish I were a Leper” is a book by Vince O’Rourke based on diary and journal entries which accurately record the journey he and his wife Margaret O’Rourke took with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of its early onset, the disease rapidly adversely affected Margaret’s quality of life.When asked why she would ever wish to be a leper, Margaret's faith filled response was, "If I were a leper He could heal me". This is a story that grabs the reader's attention from the outset. It is a record of unconditional love, pain and suffering, hope and despair, anger and elation, as well as of a personal conflict of faith, and belief in a God of love and compassion. It speaks clearly to all who care for those suffering long term terminal diseases, especially those allied to dementia.
*another very personal story

A journey through life : the memoirs of an immigrant to Australia

Arnaldo Buch was born in Spain, into a German-Jewish family; in this tome he describes his peripatetic life, which included migration to Colombia, thence Australia, and his many travels through other parts of the world. An engaging tale set against the backdrop of a dramatically-changing world, including the rise of Nazism in Europe, and the later emergence of globalisation.

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