Posts Tagged ‘Elderly’

The Dementia Diaries – Matthew Snyman

Posted in non-fiction on February 17th, 2016 by admin – Be the first to comment




Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Publication Date – 21st April 2016

Whilst this book is aimed at young folk (7-14) with its Wimpy Kid/graphic novel style, I think it would be extremely useful for people of all ages as it contains easily accessible information about the effects of all types of dementia. You don’t even have to have a relative with dementia as there will be someone in your neighbourhood with the condition and this book has a wealth of tips and advice which could really enhance the lives of those affected by dementia.

Brie, Fred, Sarah and Sam give honest accounts of what life is like for their grandparents, anecdotes which are sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking. There seems to be a lot of stigma attached to dementia, just like there was/still is with cancer and depression. Any book which acts as a springboard for discussion can only be a positive move forward and it is often the case that young people are more open and less inhibited in their views than adults.

The Dementia Diaries should be in every school library. With life expectancy increasing, more and more children will experience dementia within their family circle and it really is about time we stopped considering it as something shameful to be swept under the carpet, “out of the mouth of babes” etc…. Highly recommended.

My thanks to NetGalley for providing a free digital copy for review purposes.


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A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Proofs on July 1st, 2014 by admin – Be the first to comment

A Man Called OveThere seems to have been a spate of Scandi-Lite in Swedish fiction recently, an antidote perhaps to the harshness of Scandi-Noir.  Elderly folk are running amok with 100 year old men escaping from nursing homes and little old ladies openly flouting all the rules.

In Fredrik Backman’s first novel, Ove is not that old at 59 but he certainly fulfils the grouchiness credentials for grumpy old man status.  Backman originally introduced Ove on his blog where readers encouraged him to create a novel about  this irascible Swede.  In 39 relatively short chapters we gain gradual insight into Ove’s life – what makes him tick and the events that have made him the grouchy man he is today.   It’s an easy read, quite matter of fact but it did pull on my heartstrings….occasionally….

I think Ove will appeal to a lot of readers.  He calls a spade a spade and says out loud the things most of us are too polite/repressed to voice.  He reminds me of my dad who shared Ove’s thriftiness and pragmatism although not  to the same extremes!  There is homespun wisdom, lots of lessons to be learned about tolerance, frequent references to Saabs, a community coming together.

Yes, sometimes it gets a bit too saccharine-sweet and strays into Mitch Albom territory but for the most part I enjoyed reading about Ove and his neighbours.  I see similarities with Harold Fry but Rachel Joyce’s novel is more nuanced and a more fluid narrative.

Destined to be a worldwide bestseller, the movie version of A Man Called Ove is currently being filmed in Sweden.  I anticipate an American version in the not too distant future.

A Man Called Ove is published by Sceptre on 3rd July 2014.

Fredrik Backman

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