An incredibly powerful novel, beautifully written by the New York Times Bestseller, Rowan Coleman, The Day We Met charts the struggle of a family torn apart by the mother’s diagnosis of early onset Alzheimers. Also published as ‘The Memory Book’, the protagonist, Claire has a blank notebook, given to her by her husband Greg, in which to write down her private memories and keepsakes, beginnings and endings and everything in between to help preserve the sense of ‘her’ in order for her to remember and for her family to remember who she was before the disease took hold. That book becomes the story of Claire – her passions, her sorrows, her joys and her adventures in life and will soon be all that her family have left of the ‘old’ her.
At times, Claire’s struggle is visceral and hard to take, the description of her descent in to dementia and of losing ‘yourself is so keenly observed. It gives the story such power and gravitas – Claire’s journey and the lives of her family are totally absorbing. However for some reason it isn’t a depressing read – their story is surprisingly uplifting and there is definitely lightness to the shade. The book acknowledges the harsh reality that there is no magic cure for her dementia and being involved with the whole family coming to terms with it, means you laugh and cry along with them.