To have such a respected writer share her thoughts and experiences in this novel was touching and engaging. It provided an endearing balance from using and interesting facts about the disease, its progression and the impact it has on the person and their family, but more also the personal reflections not just from Gerrard, but others that have family members that have lived with dementia too.

Some of the friends are also writers that gives it an added relatable, brave and honest depiction. Whilst the nature of the disease is saddening, there was very much a message about the positive approaches to be had when living with dementia, so that the focus is on what you can do, not what you can no longer do. This includes the power of emotion so that someone even if they cannot necessarily make sense of what is going on around them may feel safer, happier and calmer for having someone or something that is familiar around them.

Gerrard’s natural writing talents allow this book to flow, something not always easy when the book is factual. It is a fairly quick read given the subject matter that is covered and not so long that it becomes a chore. Practical, humane and inspiring it will provide insight and a support to many a reader.

Sara Garland 3*

What Dementia Teaches Us About Love by Nicci Gerrard
Allen Lane 9780241347454 hbk Apr 2019