Blurb: Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team.
It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined. And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital.
When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.
This book hit me where it hurt. I have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s, so I knew it was always going to hit me hard…. But.. WOW.
This book is an emotional rollercoaster and I loved it. Because when you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it really is a roller coaster. You can be crying with laughter one minute when they say something SO inappropriate. And then you’ll realise that they’re slipping away from you.
Honestly, my heart went out to Gabe. One minute he’s a normal kid, hanging out with his friends and playing computer games. And the next minute his whole life has changed, and he’s had to step up and take on some serious responsibilities. And yet, he rarely complains. I admired Gabe so much. A lot of people assume that when people have Alzheimer’s, their body weakens as well as their mind. This isn’t the case. So, Gabe has to put up with punches and tantrums from his physically strong ex-vet Grandad, whilst trying to get through high school and trying to maintain a normal life.
You can tell that Frank Morelli has invested a lot of time into this book. It shows the ugly, heart-breaking side of dementia, whilst also offering you some heart-warming moments. The balance of emotions have been blended in a way that doesn’t make it feel like you’re just reading a story. It feels like you’re a fly on the wall, watching real people deal with everyday struggles. To produce a comical book that focuses on Alzheimer’s….. that’s a huge achievement.
I really do think that this book will help to shed light on dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. It’s not just a case of ‘Oh, Grandma’s forgotten my name again. Oh, Grandad has left the TV remote in the fridge again’. It’s SO much more than that. If this book helps just one person have a better understanding of dementia, then Frank Morelli has produced something so much more than an amazing book.