I grabbed the book "The House I Loved" by Tatiana de Rosnay off the library shelf because of two reasons. The first was it's title. My Mother also loved her house, she was so adamant that she was never going to leave it. What did Ms. de Rosnay have to say, about another house that was so very loved? And the second reason was that I had recently read another of her books "Sarah's Key" and enjoy her style of writing.
In the book "The House I Loved" we are reading what Rose is writing to her husband Armand. I believe she is writing in a journal, but writes as if it's for Armand's eyes. Rose loves their house. The house of her husband's family. It is a warm and beautiful place, unlike the soulless place she grew up. Her story jumps back and forth through time. She recollects events and people throughout their shared history and the years before and after their marriage.
And then it's there: the blank stares, the wandering, the dementia. Armand has dementia. I'm reading this book for pleasure and dementia finds me. This is not a book from that stack of books, resources I go to when I don't know how to deal with my Mother's dementia. This is suppose to be fun reading. But it's there, dementia is everywhere.
The story Ms. de Rosnay writes is also gripping because Rose, throughout the book, reminds us, over and over, that she is not going to leave her house, she loves her house, it is integral to her existence. This is the way my Mother felt. Would my Mother have done what Rose did, if she were in her right mind...? Is Rose in her right mind...?
I often wonder what would have happened to my Mother if I had left her in her house. Could I have left her there? Was there really no choice, but to drag her kicking and screaming out of there? Why did Rose's friends and family not make that same decision?
Read the book!