Call Number
Material Type
Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 362.19683 B474 Adult NonFiction Book
Wayland Free Library 1 362.196 BEN Adult NonFiction Book

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When the vibrant, beloved Miss Peggy began the agonizing descent into the "darkness" of dementia, her family faced what an estimated 35.6 million people around the world live with each day. "Moving Miss Peggy: A Story of Dementia, Courage and Consolation" by Robert Benson is an intimate look at what dementia means for a family - how do you organize your mother's new life, how do you move her from her cherished home... how do you come to terms with the fact that the woman who, as Benson writes, "once seemed to hold the whole world in her hands, now does not know the day of the week?" With his signature style, Benson's artistic touch lends a warmth and softness to a harsh reality in this powerful story.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Through a lens of affection, admiration, and sadness, Benson (A Good Life) tells the story of his mother's transition from an independent, adventurous, sharply funny woman to one whose fading cognitive abilities require her children to recognize and respond to her increasing needs. Childhood memories interweave with stories of the siblings' growing awareness of their mother's condition, more painful because "she knew better than any of us that there was a storm coming ashore, a storm that would wash away all of her memories." Benson's technique of writing alternately in first-person plural and second-person effectively conveys both the team spirit that develops between siblings who have equal love but different skills to offer, and their desire to honor their mother's generous wish to share this story so others might benefit from the family's experience. Benson's short chapters of lyrical prose document, with occasional repetition, Miss Peggy's decline, celebrate her life, and express gratitude for help received in providing for her safety and dignity. Families going through similar journeys will find both solace and guidance in these pages. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Benson (The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling) offers this quiet but profoundly affecting story-a meditation, really-of moving his beloved mother, "Miss Peggy," from her home to an assisted-living residence. He describes his previous books-several religious titles on spirituality, prayer, and liturgy-as being about "paying attention," and here he pays meticulous and empathetic attention to this family project: helping his mother transition into a new and changing life in her new home. He calls this a story of dementia, courage (especially Miss Peggy's courage at this very confusing time in her life), and consolation, which he finds not only in the help of his four siblings and in his mother's new caregivers, but also in cherishing the past, learning to cherish the present, and in his own spirituality and humor. -VERDICT Readers will appreciate this attentiveness, which may help and inspire them as they handle similar situations. Highly recommended.-Marcia G. Welsh, Dartmouth Coll. Lib., Hanover, NH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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