Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words
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Originally from Oklahoma, J.R. Hopkins, has lived a nomadic life, living in several states through her childhood and adult life including Alaska and currently in Idaho.
“A memoir of surviving life and preserving memories!
Life can sometimes be overwhelming. This book is an account of the two years during which I looked after my mother, who had dementia, and the stress it entailed. It is about how I learned to cope and how I sought to preserve happy memories and banish bad ones, so that I could carry on with my life. I hope this book gives peace and solace to others who are caring for or may have to care for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is to help you seek and find joy and happiness in overwhelming and sometimes overpowering circumstances we may all have to face at some point and how to deal with it.”
It seems one genre I've read a lot more since getting my first Kindle has been the memoir. I'd always read some, primarily travel memoirs or stories of the notable and famous. But with the ease of self-publishing has come the ability for people who are more in the mainstream to tell their stories. Among others, I've read a true life love story, the tale of a teenage runaway, and about a bookstore owner living with their family in a broken-down RV in the parking lot of the local Walmart.
An author I follow just asked a question on Facebook about why story is important to readers. Part of my answer was that a good story can put you in the place of someone else, making it easier to understand other points of view and helping you relate to people with experiences different than your own. Those other memoirs I mentioned did that. So did this one. One big difference between this and the others is I can actually imagine this happening. Many of her experiences here are things that will happen to most of us. While we may not have to care for an aging parent, we'll all have to deal with death and many of the other difficulties she chronicles.
At a high level, Life Memories is the story of Ms Hopkins experience caring for her mother for the last couple years of her life and dealing with her mother's physical and mental deterioration. There are lessons here to be learned about life, death, and family. But the most important lesson Ms Hopkins attempted to impart (stated explicitly a couple times) is the importance of focusing on and remembering the positive life memories to help you through the difficult times.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars